Beto O’Rourke drops out of the 2020 presidential race

Beto O’Rourke speaks to the Political Party Live overflow crowd at Pig and Porter. Friday, Mar 15, 2019. — Zak Neumann/Little Village

Beto O’Rourke announced on Friday afternoon he is ending his 2020 presidential run.

“Our campaign has always been about seeing clearly, speaking honestly, and acting decisively,” he wrote on Twitter. “In that spirit: I am announcing that my service to the country will not be as a candidate or as the nominee.”

In an accompanying post on Medium, O’Rourke wrote, “Though it is difficult to accept, it is clear to me now that this campaign does not have the means to move forward successfully … 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.”

When the former Texas congressman — who made a national name for himself when he almost defeated incumbent Ted Cruz in the 2018 Senate election — launched his presidential bid in March, most political analysts predicted he would quickly surge to the front of the already-large pack of Democratic candidates. Voters, or at least those surveyed in opinion polls, proved those predictions wrong.

O’Rourke never managed to rise out of the mass of candidates lingering below actual front-runners such as Biden, Sanders and Warren.

“Let us continue to fearlessly champion the issues and causes that brought us together,” O’Rourke told his followers on Friday. “Whether it is ending the epidemic of gun violence or dismantling structural racism or successfully confronting climate change before it is too late, we will continue to organize and mobilize and act in the best interests of America.”

Beto O’Rourke holds up a freshly screened shirt at Raygun. Friday, March 15, 2019. — Zak Neumann/Little Village

O’Rourke is the eighth candidate to quit the race for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, bringing the number of current candidate to 17.

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