WASHINGTON — Democrat Beto O'Rourke has announced he's dropping his 2020 presidential bid.
O'Rourke tweeted Friday that his campaign "has always been about seeing clearly, speaking honestly, and acting decisively." He writes, "In that spirit: I am announcing that my service to the country will not be as a candidate or as the nominee."
O'Rourke had been struggling to break through a crowded Democratic field. He entered the race in March with buzz from his narrow 2018 Senate loss to Republican incumbent Ted Cruz in Texas.
But as the excitement over his candidacy began to fade, O'Rourke was forced to stage a "reintroduction" of his campaign to reinvigorate it. After a mass shooting in his hometown of El Paso, Texas, he began to center his campaign on gun violence prevention.
I am grateful to all the people who made up the heart and soul of this campaign. You were among the hundreds of thousands who made a donation, signed up to volunteer or spread the word about this campaign and our opportunity to help decide the election of our lifetime.— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) November 1, 2019
Let us continue to fearlessly champion the issues and causes that brought us together. Whether it is ending the epidemic of gun violence or dismantling structural racism or successfully confronting climate change, we will continue to organize and mobilize and act.— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) November 1, 2019
We will work to ensure that the Democratic nominee is successful in defeating Donald Trump in 2020. I can tell you firsthand from having the chance to know the candidates, we will be well served by any one of them, and I’m going to be proud to support whoever she or he is.— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) November 1, 2019
Thank you for making this campaign possible, and for continuing to believe that we can turn this moment of great peril into a moment of great promise for America and the world.— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) November 1, 2019