Nov. 1 (UPI) — Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke announced Friday he’s ending his campaign to become president, citing a lack of “means to move forward successfully.”
The Texan is one of several candidates who have dropped out of the crowded Democratic primary race.
“Though it is difficult to accept, it is clear to me now that this campaign does not have the means to move forward successfully,” O’Rourke wrote in a Medium post Friday afternoon.
“My service to the country will not be as a candidate or as the nominee. Acknowledging this now is in the best interests of those in the campaign; it is in the best interests of this party as we seek to unify around a nominee; and it is in the best interests of the country.”
O’Rourke announced his bid to be president in March, one of some two dozen Democrats to enter the fray. Building off momentum from his failed bid to unseat Sen. Ted Cruz, D-Texas, in 2018 — with a closer-than-expected race — O’Rourke sought solutions for climate change, common sense immigration laws, affordable healthcare and ending decades-long wars.
He qualified for all four debates held prior to his departure, but had yet to secure a spot in the Nov. 20 debate because he hadn’t reached 3 percent or more in four polls or 5 percent or more in two polls.
In recent weeks, O’Rourke’s campaign was beset by lagging fund raising, reporting $4.5 million in the third quarter. It was an improvement over the previous quarter, and enough to qualify for the fifth debate, but the total put him behind a majority of his rivals, two of whom raised about $25 million in the same time period.
“We have a path to the nomination — and through that, a path to the presidency — but at this moment we’ve got to break through,” O’Rourke told his El Paso, Texas, staff after releasing the figures. “So I need everyone’s help, doing everything that they can … to make sure that you make this commitment now. There is no later moment to do it. It must happen now if we’re going to make the most of this moment, of the momentum that we have, of this wonderful trajectory that we’re on.”
O’Rourke served three terms in the House representing Texas’ 16th Congressional District.
He said he plans to support whichever Democratic candidate receives the nomination.
“We must support them in the race against Donald Trump and support them in their administration afterwards, do all that we can to help them heal a wounded country and bring us together in meeting the greatest set of challenges we have ever known,” he wrote on Medium.