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Pete Buttigieg Drops Out of White House Race
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Summary: Pete Buttigieg, the first openly gay presidential candidate has ended his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination. 

Buttigieg at the 2019 California Democratic Party State Convention. Photo by Gage Skidmore

Pete Buttigieg, the former small-city Indiana mayor, announced Sunday night he is ending his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Following a crushing defeat in the South Carolina primary, the 38-year-old former mayor of South Bend, Indiana addressed crowds of supporters in his hometown on Sunday announcing his decision to drop out of the Democratic race.

  
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Today is a moment of truth … the truth is that the path has narrowed to a close for our candidacy if not for our cause,” he said.

We must recognize that at this point in the race, the best way to keep faith with those goals and ideals is to step aside and help bring our party and country together.

Our goal has always been to unify Americans to help defeat Donald Trump and to win the era for our values.

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Buttigieg, who was the first openly gay major presidential candidate, emerged from obscurity and skyrocketed into the top tier of a field of two dozen Democratic presidential candidates.

After initial success in the predominantly white states Iowa and New Hampshire, Buttigieg’s campaign struggled to win over voters in the more diverse states of South Carolina and Nevada. He earned the support of just 3% of African American voters in South Carolina, according to exit polls.



Former vice-president Joe Biden won the South Carolina primary on Saturday night, defeating US Sen. Bernie Sanders by a double-digit margin. California billionaire Tom Steyer finished third with about 11% support and also ended his bid on Saturday night. 

Buttigieg canceled the Sunday night rally in Dallas and a Monday morning fund-raiser in Austin to return to South Bend. 

The truth is that the path has narrowed to a close, for our candidacy if not for our cause,” he said, adding “Tonight I am making the difficult decision to suspend my campaign for the presidency.

Sometimes the longest way around really is the shortest way home,’’ he told supporters to loud cheers.

Buttigieg’s husband, Chasten, also gave an emotional speech in South Bend, saying:

 “About a year and a half ago, my husband came home from work and told me – well he asked me: ‘What do you think about running for president?’ And I laughed! Not at him, but at life.

Life gave me some interesting experiences, on my way to find Pete. After falling in love with Pete, Pete got me to believe in myself… and I told Pete to run [for office] because I knew there were other kids sitting out there in this country who needed to believe in themselves, too.”

On Sunday night, the former mayor-who is a Navy Reserve veteran of the war in Afghanistan- joked about his obscurity when he decided to run in April last year: “Hardly anybody knew my name, and even fewer could pronounce it. First name Mayor, last name Pete.”

A graduate of Oxford and Harvard, former ‘Mayor Pete’ spent eight years in office in South Bend and first gained national recognition in 2017 during an unsuccessful bid to serve as chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David said in a statement former Buttigieg’s candidacy made history.

Mayor Buttigieg ran an incredible campaign that broke glass ceilings and inspired countless LGBTQ people to run for office and enter public service,” he wrote. “His history-making, open and honest campaign gave representation to a community that has been for long far too long pushed out of the spotlight. He gave a voice to millions across the country, to issues often ignored.

CNN reported that Buttigieg was “unwilling to be [the] reason Sanders is able to get ‘insurmountable’ delegate lead on Super Tuesday”

Sanders responded to Buttigieg’s withdrawal from the campaign on Sunday night urging his supporters to ‘join us in the fight for real change in this country.’ 

The New York Times reported, as of Monday morning Buttigieg plans to endorse former Vice President Joe Biden in the Democratic presidential race, according to a person informed of the decision.

 “I know that as this campaign ends, there comes disappointment that we won’t continue.”

But I hope that everyone who has been part of this in any way knows that the campaign that you have built and the community that you have created is only the beginning of the change that we are going to make together,” said Mayor Pete to his supporters.

Buttigieg’s departure leaves five candidates in the race.



 

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