Marianne Williamson drops out of the presidential race

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Marianne Williamson at the Iowa Democratic Party Hall of Fame celebration in Cedar Rapids, June 9, 2019. — Zak Neumann/Little Village

Marianne Williamson dropped out of the 2020 presidential race on Friday. The California Democrat announced her decision in a written statement on her campaign website.

Williamson’s decision won’t surprise anyone who has closely followed news of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary. Williamson laid off the last of her paid campaign staff at the end of December.

“I am not suspending my candidacy, however,” Williamson said in a press release last week, responding to reports of the lay-offs. The candidate said would continue her campaign, just relying on volunteers. That strategy lasted less than two weeks.

Williamson didn’t mention firing her paid staff or plans for an all-volunteer campaign in her statement on Friday, but she did explain why she continued campaigning as long as she did.

“I stayed in the race to take advantage of every possible effort to share our message,” Williamson wrote. “With caucuses and primaries now about to begin, however, we will not be able to garner enough votes in the election to elevate our conversation any more than it is now. The primaries might be tightly contested among the top contenders, and I don’t want to get in the way of a progressive candidate winning any of them.”

It is unlikely Williamson would have blocked the rise of any other candidate, progressive or moderate. She never polled higher than the low single digits at either the state or national level. None of the sites tracking endorsements of presidential candidates list any endorsements for Williamson.

Williamson announced her candidacy in November 2018, 444 days before the Iowa Caucus. “For the last year I have held within my heart the idea of running for President of the United States,” she wrote at the time.

“The mindset of the current political establishment neither acknowledges nor understands the deeper emotional and psychological rivers that underlie political forces on the move today,” she wrote when she announced her candidacy. “I do.”

This was the first presidential run for Williamson, the best-selling author of books on topics ranging from the spiritual aspects of weight loss (Course in Weight Loss: 21 Spiritual Lessons for Surrendering Your Weight Forever) to the spiritual aspects of money management (The Law of Divine Compensation: On Work, Money and Miracles) to the spiritual aspects of politics (Healing the Soul of America: Reclaiming Our Voices as Spiritual Citizens).

Williamson ran unsuccessfully for Congress in her home state of California in 2014. She finished fourth in the Democratic primary.

In her statement on Friday, Williamson wrote, “these are not times to despair; they are simply times to rise up. Things are changing swiftly and dramatically in this country, and I have faith that something is awakening among us. A politics of conscience is still yet possible. And yes….love will prevail.”

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