The South Bend mayor has ended his campaign.
Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg announced on Sunday that he is formally ending his bid for the 2020 presidency. He returned to his hometown of South Bend, Indiana, and spoke directly to his constituents about his difficult decision.
“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 our country together,” Buttigieg told supporters is his hometown of South Bend. “So tonight I am making the difficult decision to suspend my campaign for the presidency.” He went on to say that though he is no longer running for office, he will “do everything in my power to ensure that we have a new Democratic president come January.”
Buttigieg launched his campaign as a relative unknown, but a combination of factors, including his practical ideologies and promises, his young age compared to his opponents, and his status as the first openly gay candidate, contributed to an impressive rise in popularity. His success in the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary seemed to land him a position as a front runner, but after those victories, his momentum began to slow.
Buttigieg received some flak in December due to his private campaign fundraisers, the most infamous of which took place in a “wine cave” in California. He was mocked on social media for holding closed-door events funded by wealthy business owners. Buttigieg also received some heat for his stances against fellow candidate Bernie Sanders, whom he criticized as being too radical to win the presidency. In his speech on Sunday, he reiterated these concerns.
“We need leadership to heal a divided nation, not drive us further apart. We need a broad-based agenda that can truly deliver for the American people, not one that gets lost in ideology. We need an approach strong enough not only to win the White House but to hold the House, win the Senate, and send Mitch McConnell into retirement,” he said.