Dec. 1 (UPI) — Former Pennsylvania congressman Joe Sestak ended his long-shot presidential campaign Sunday after failing to gain national attention or a spot on any of the Democratic Party’s previous debates.
“I want to thank you for the honor of running for President of the United States,” Sestak said in a statement. “It has been an endeavor filled with immeasurable wisdom, passions, humor and insights to, and from, the people of America.”
Thank you for this opportunity! pic.twitter.com/mW5Qdi3bhT— Joe Sestak (@JoeSestak) December 1, 2019
The retired three-star admiral joined the congested Democratic primary on June 23, running on a campaign to restore accountability to the White House.
Sestak, 67, acknowledged his late entrance then as the 25th candidate into the race, stating it was due to his daughter falling ill from brain cancer, which she recovered from.
However, during his short campaign against several household names, Sestak failed to gain any real traction among the public and never qualified for a spot in any of the previous five Democratic primary debates.
In his statement, Sestak said he was calling off his campaign as it was unfair to others to sacrifice their time and money as he lacked “the privilege of national press.”
He also called for a president who could unite the country at a time when the nation’s unity has been damaged.
“A moral compass for our great ship of state is the beacon most needed today. And who offers it that all Americans will provide the fair winds and following seas to advance us,” he said. “That is necessary for us both at home and abroad, to convene the world to advance our policies and commitment to democratic values for our collective good.”
Sestak served two terms in the House from 2007 to 2011 before losing two elections for the U.S. Senate.
With his exit, there are now fewer than 20 Democratic candidates left to battle it out for the right to go up against President Donald Trump in 2020 as the Democratic candidate.