Pete Buttigieg has ended his race for the Democratic presidential nomination.
The move shook up the contest to pick a candidate to take on Donald Trump in November’s election and came two days before the crunch 14-state ‘Super Tuesday’ contests.
It paves the way for fellow moderate Joe Biden, who won a big victory in South Carolina at the weekend, to usurp frontrunner Bernie Sanders.
“Today is a moment of truth ... the truth is that the path has narrowed to a close for our candidacy if not for our cause,” Buttigieg told supporters on Sunday night. “Our goal has always been to unify Americans to help defeat Donald Trump and to win the era for our values.”
The then-mayor of South Bend, Indiana, formally announced his presidential bid in April last year, when he was virtually unknown on the national stage.
Despite nearly tying with Sanders to win the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary, Buttigieg fell behind in the more diverse Nevada caucuses, finishing with 14.3% of the vote compared to Sanders’ 46.8%.
Buttigieg, 38, was the youngest candidate in the Democratic presidential primary race and the the first openly gay person to seek the party’s nomination.