Pete Buttigieg is suspending his presidential bid, after a distant fourth place showing in the South Carolina primary, CNN and other news outlets reported on Sunday.
Buttigieg was the first openly gay presidential candidate to win a presidential nominating contest, when he won the race for delegates in Iowa.
Buttigieg was en route to South Bend, Indiana, where he served as that city’s mayor, to make the announcement.
A virtual unknown when the 2020 race started, Buttigieg built a substantial campaign and fundraising organization, drawing on substantial early contributions from the LGBT community. Last March, a well-received CNN town hall helped drive attention to his candidacy, and he emerged as one of the standouts in the large field of candidates. He became a favorite of Hollywood donors, as he led contributions from showbiz for much of 2019, who were drawn in part to his promise of a political fresh start and the historic nature of his campaign.
But after a top finish in Iowa and a second place showing in New Hampshire, he failed to take off in the more racially diverse states of Nevada and, on Saturday, South Carolina.
Earlier on Sunday, Buttigieg appeared to have decided to stay in the race. He said on Meet the Press, “We have reached the conclusion that pushing forward is the best thing we can do for the country and the party.” He also was in Plains, GA, to meet with former President Jimmy Carter, another political unknown when he entered the 1976 presidential race. Carter said that he was a fan of Buttigieg but indicated that he had to decide whether to stay in the race.
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