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Pete Buttigieg officially suspends presidential campaign

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg officially suspended his presidential campaign on Sunday night.

“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 said during his remarks. “So tonight I am making the difficult decision to suspend my campaign for the presidency.”

Buttigieg delivered the remarks at the Century Center on Sunday, reminiscing about the growth of his campaign, which was born in his hometown of South Bend.

“I will no longer seek to be the 2020 Democratic nominee for president, but I will do everything in my power to ensure that we have a new Democratic president come January,” Buttigieg said. 

Supporters in attendance at the Century Center could be heard chanting “2024” as Buttigieg officially announced the suspension of his 2020 presidential campaign.

Buttigieg was originally scheduled to fly to Dallas, Texas on Sunday but made the decision to return to his hometown instead.

The 38-year-old former mayor launched himself from relative obscurity after announcing his presidential exploratory committee in January 2019.

As the youngest candidate in the field, Buttigieg leaned heavily upon his youth. He often spoke of his desire to bring about a new era of politics to the country.

His messages often pointed towards what he believes to be a division and polarization in America that he has said will only worsen without new political direction.

The Democratic presidential hopeful failed to make a mark during the South Carolina primary on Saturday, ending with only 8% of the vote with zero delegates.

Buttigieg started out with a win in the Iowa caucuses, which gave him a strong lead into New Hampshire where he placed just a few points behind Senator Bernie Sanders.

His strong lead trickled off with a distant third place in Nevada and a fourth place standing in South Carolina.

Buttigieg's failure to pull votes in South Carolina was largely due to his inability to get the support of minority, and especially black voters, during the course of his bid.

Compared to the other Democratic candidates in the field, Buttigieg chose more moderate positions on topics like health care and college, running with the idea of Medicare and free college "for all who want it" and "for all who can't afford it," respectively.

Campaign officials believe that despite these facts, Buttigieg managed to build the culture that he sought to create from the beginning, marking his campaign as a success in that right. 

“We built a broad coalition that lived out the culture of belonging that we sought to create, where voters knew Pete best. Our campaign brought in new voters as well as people who had voted their whole lives, voters of all ages, college and non-college educated voters, people who voted for Clinton and people who voted for Trump, Democrats, moderates, and Independents alike.  In Iowa, Pete won 21 of the 31 counties that flipped from Obama to Trump in 2016, and won 63 of the state’s 99 counties,” another campaign aide said.

The announcement to end his campaign comes just days before Super Tuesday, at which point 14 states will vote for candidates and roughly one third of delegates will be divided among the candidates.

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