Mayor Pete Buttigieg dropped out of the 2020 presidential race on Sunday, reminding his followers he made history as an openly gay candidate.
“We sent a message to every kid out there wondering if whatever marks them as different means that they are somehow destined to be less-than,” Pete Buttigieg said. “To see that someone who once felt that exact same way can become a leading American presidential candidate with his husband at his side.”
Buttigieg returned to South Bend, Indiana, to publicly announce his decision to end his campaign after the news broke on Sunday.
He was introduced by his husband, Chasten, who immediately choked up at the podium.
“After falling in love with Pete, Pete got me to believe in myself again,” Chasten Buttigieg said. “I told Pete to run because I knew there were other kids in this country who needed to believe in themselves, too.”
Buttigieg kissed Chasten briefly and embraced him after taking the stage to deliver his speech.
“Chasten, I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with you,” he said later in his speech.
Buttigieg praised the diversity of the presidential field, reminding his supporters that he finished in the top four of the early states and made history by winning the Iowa caucuses.
“We were never supposed to get anywhere at all,” he said, noting that “hardly anybody knew my name and fewer could pronounce it.”
Buttigieg said he had the “responsibility” to drop out, allowing the remaining candidates a better chance to beat President Donald Trump.
When Buttigieg urged his followers to back the ultimate Democrat nominee to defeat Trump, his supporters chanted, “2024! 2024! 2024!”