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Democrat Beto O’Rourke drops out of 2020 presidential race

O’Rourke said he would support the Democratic nominee and urged his followers to do the same.

Democratic presidential candidate, former Rep. Beto O’Rourke
Democratic presidential candidate, former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) speaks during a campaign rally on October 17, 2019 in Grand Prairie, Texas. (File photo)
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nDemocratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke has dropped out of the presidential race.

“Though it is difficult to accept, it is clear to me now that this campaign does not have the means to move forward successfully,” O’Rourke wrote in a Medium post published Friday, Nov. 1.

In his announcement, the former Texas congressman said he and his team will “work to ensure that the Democratic nominee is successful in defeating Donald Trump in 2020,” and he urged his supporters to back whichever candidate secures the Democratic nomination.

“We must support them in the race against Donald Trump and support them in their administration afterwards, do all that we can to help them heal a wounded country and bring us together in meeting the greatest set of challenges we have ever known,” he said.

O’Rourke had trailed behind frontrunners Pete Buttigieg, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren in Illinois by the metrics of funds raised and in the number of individual donors supporting his campaign.

O’Rourke, whose wife is from Chicago, was fundraising in the city as recently as last month, when he visited for an event whose hosts included Obama White House economic adviser Austan Goolsbee; political consultant Marilyn Katz; and a major Democratic fundraiser, former Obama U.S. Ambassador to Britain Louis Susman and his wife, Marjorie.

O’Rourke had promised to sign climate change-fighting executive orders on the first day of his presidency — including rejoining the 2016 Paris Agreement, from which President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S.

While on the campaign trail, O’Rourke acknowledged he had made mistakes as a presidential candidate and before taking office as a representative.

O’Rourke, 46, said in March during a podcast taping that he was “mortified” by the violent fiction he wrote as a teen, which received fresh attention after a Reuters report outlined his involvement in a hacker group as a teen. O’Rourke wrote a handful of posts on the group’s message board under the name “Psychedelic Warlord,” including a fictional piece he penned when he was 15 about children getting run over by a car.

“Whatever my intention was as a teenager doesn’t matter, I have to look long and hard at my actions, at the language I have used, and I have to constantly try to do better,” he said at the time.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.