SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Democrat Pete Buttigieg has ended his campaign for president.
"We sent a message to every kid out there wondering if whatever marks them out as different means they are somehow destined to be less than...Someone who once felt that exact same way can become a leading American presidential candidate with his husband at his side," said Buttigieg, who is the first openly gay candidate to be a contender for a major party nomination.
Buttigieg rose to the field's top tier but failed to notch enough wins in the critical early states necessary to keep his bid moving forward.
The millennial, Afghan War veteran and former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, defied expectations in a field of better-known candidates for months .
"Mayor Pete" burst onto the scene with a blitz of national media a year ago and impressive fundraising. He leaned hard into a next-generation message of urgency on pressing issues while preaching a message of hope and inclusion.