Hours before the Iowa Democratic Party’s Liberty and Justice Celebration Friday, Beto O’Rourke announced he would be dropping out of the presidential race.
Saying his campaign did not have the means to continue, former U.S. Rep. O’Rourke also announced his resignation from the race on Medium, an online publishing platform. According to an email to his supporters, O’Rourke said he will not be running for office in the Senate either.
“We have to clearly see at this point that we do not have the means to pursue this campaign successfully and my service will not be as a candidate nor as the nominee for this party for the presidency,” O’Rourke said to an audience before the dinner.
O’Rourke ran on a campaign centered around immigration reform, mandatory gun buybacks and a new healthcare program.
“Let us continue to fearlessly champion the issues and causes that brought us together,” O’Rourke said on Medium. “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.”
O’Rourke raised over $6 million within the first day of announcing his campaign, according to The New York Times. However, fundraising for O’Rourke’s campaign slowed down considerably in the following three months, and the campaign was spending more than it was taking in.
O’Rourke said he had also noticed a steep decline in his rank in the polls. According to recent polls by The Washington Post, O’Rourke had been polling at 1% prior to his resignation.
“I decided to run for President because I believed that I could help bring a divided country together in common cause to confront the greatest set of challenges we’ve ever faced,” O’Rourke said on Medium. “I also knew that the most fundamental of them is fear … I knew, and I still know, that we can reject and overcome these fears and choose to instead be defined by our ambitions and our ability to achieve them.”
Presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren said she was thankful for O’Rourke’s work during his campaign.
“(O’Rourke’s) commitment to ending gun violence and uplifting the voices of the victims and their families has made this presidential race — and our country — stronger,” U.S. Sen. Warren said in a tweet.
University Democrats president Joe Cascino said although the organization does not endorse O’Rourke for president, he was a consistent moral compass beginning in last year’s U.S. Senate elections.
“As Beto’s presidential bid comes to an end, I want to thank Beto for being Beto,” Casino said in a text. “I immediately knew he was special, not only because he was charismatic, but because he showed up and was clearly in (the race) for the right reasons.”
Nutrition sophomore Gabrielle Capesius said O’Rourke’s national presence has made a positive impact on the American people.
“In such a short amount of time, Beto was able to win over such a large amount of voters in Texas and eventually the nation,” Capesius said. “It’s a pity to see him end his candidacy, but I am so proud of the work he has done for the greater good of Americans along the way.”