Former New York governor George Pataki said Tuesday that he’s ending his bid for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, with just over a month to go before the first nominating contests begin.
Pataki made the announcement in an ad that aired on local NBC affiliates in New Hampshire, Iowa and South Carolina Tuesday night.
“While tonight is the end of my journey for the White House as I suspend my campaign for president, I’m confident we can elect the right person, someone who will bring us together and who understands that politicians, including the president, must be the people’s servant and not their master,” said Pataki, 70.
A centrist Republican who led New York through the September 11, 2001, attacks, Pataki failed to gain traction in a crowded field of candidates during an election season that has so far favored outsiders like billionaire businessman Donald Trump.
Bruce Breton, a local elected official and member of Pataki’s New Hampshire steering committee, said Pataki called him Tuesday afternoon to say he’d be exiting the race. Breton said Pataki’s campaign had struggled to raise money and garner media attention.
“He said he couldn’t get any traction. He worked hard, it’s just a different type of year,” Breton said.
Pataki had hung his hopes on doing well in early-voting New Hampshire, but he has barely registered in state or national polls.
He never made it onto a main Republican debate stage, where he would have had the chance to reach millions more viewers.
Pataki appeared especially frustrated by Trump’s rise, and zeroed in on his rival during the undercard debate earlier this month, declaring the New York real estate mogul unfit to be president of the United States.
“Donald Trump is the Know-Nothing candidate of the 21st century and cannot be our nominee,” Pataki said.
Pataki announced his candidacy with a video in May.