WASHINGTON — Pete Buttigieg ended his campaign for president on Sunday with a call for unity.
Buttigieg told cheering supporters the best way to keep faith with his presidential campaign's goals and ideals would be to step aside and help bring the Democratic Party and the country together.
Buttigieg rose to the field's top tier but failed to notch enough wins in the critical early states necessary to keep his bid moving forward. He had a fourth-place finish in the South Carolina. It exposed a core vulnerability, namely the inability to attract the support of black voters who are vital to any winning Democratic coalition.
The millennial, Afghan War veteran and former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, defied expectations in a field of better-known candidates for months while becoming the first openly gay top contender for a major party nomination.
“Mayor Pete” burst onto the scene with a blitz of national media a year ago and impressive fundraising. He leaned hard into a next-generation message of urgency on pressing issues while preaching a message of hope and inclusion.
The news comes just after billionaire Tom Steyer ended his campaign.