“It’s with a full heart that I share this news—I’m suspending my campaign for president. To my team, supporters, and everyone who gave me a shot—thank you. I am so proud of what we built, and I feel nothing but faith in what we can accomplish together,” he wrote on the social media website, along with a video that featured some of his best moments on the presidential campaign trail.
Though Booker was believed to have a genuine shot of winning the Democratic nomination early on, a crowded field meant that the New Jersey senator was unable to find a base that could lead him to victory. By the end of his campaign, Booker was polling in the single digits and did not make the second Democratic debate stage.
The senator first launched his campaign last year on February 1 — the date that heralds the start of Black History Month. Many of his policies were focused on helping minority communities, such as offering clemency to thousands of nonviolent drug offenders and cracking down on gun violence. Booker even proposed a national gun-licensing program, a first out in the Democratic field, as reported by The New York Times.
Booker also proposed a policy of baby bonds, intended to help disenfranchised communities. The former Newark mayor believed that a government-run savings account for all children in the United States could help offset the racial wealth gap.
“I believe that we can build a country where no one is forgotten, no one is left behind; where parents can put food on the table; where there are good paying jobs with good benefits in every neighborhood; where our criminal justice system keeps us safe, instead of shuffling more children into cages and coffins; where we see the faces of our leaders on television and feel pride, not shame,” he said in the video message that launched his campaign, reported The Financial Times.
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It’s with a full heart that I share this news—I’ve made the hard decision to suspend my campaign for president. I’ve said throughout this race that this election is not just a referendum on Donald Trump. It’s a referendum on who we are and who we must be to each other. And over the past year, I’ve seen the very best of who we can be. To my team, supporters, and everyone who gave me a shot—thank you. I am so proud of what we built, and I feel nothing but faith in what we can accomplish together.
However, the Stanford graduate failed to match the fundraising abilities seen in his opponents like Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg.
Booker follows several other Democratic candidates who have been forced out of an incredibly competitive field. Most recently, self-help guru Marianne Williamson dropped out of the race earlier last week, as was reported by The Inquisitr. In addition, former Housing Secretary Julián Castro decided to suspend his campaign in early January.
Booker’s decision to end his campaign will be a blow to those looking for diversity in the Democratic field. As of now, only one African-American candidate remains in the race — former governor of Massachusetts Deval Patrick. Kamala Harris, another high profile African-American candidate, bowed out this past fall.
Currently, only two other non-white candidates — businessman Andrew Yang and Hawaiian Representative Tulsi Gabbard — remain in the field.
Dropping out of the candidate race means that Booker can focus on his 2020 senate campaign, especially since he has a new challenger. As previously reported by The Inquisitr, Bernie Sanders’s New Jersey chair Lawrence Hamm entered the Democratic primary for the senate seat, which is set for June 2.