Former South Bend, Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg officially dropped out of the 2020 Democratic presidential race on Sunday. Buttigieg initially rose to the primary’s top tier but failed to build an extensive coalition of black voters, badly losing in South Carolina on Saturday.

His fourth-place finish in South Carolina was totally unexpected, following his strong bid that included winning the Iowa caucuses and placing second in the New Hampshire primary. Following his loss, Buttigieg announced on Sunday in his hometown in South Bend that he was withdrawing from the presidential race.

In his emotional message of support, Pete’s husband Chasten Buttigieg revealed it was he who had urged him to run. “I told Pete to run because I knew there were other kids sitting out there in this country who needed to believe in themselves too,” he said.  “It is time for every single person in this country to look to the White House and know that institution stands for them, that they belong in this country. It has been an honor and a privilege to share my husband with the rest of this country,” he added.

Buttigieg’s presidential bid was historic. As the first openly gay man to ever run for president in the U.S., he broke barriers by successfully earning primary delegates for a major party’s presidential nomination. In his speech on Sunday, however, he said he felt that dropping out of the race was the right thing to do.

“We have a responsibility to concede the effect of remaining in this race any further,” he said. “Our goal has always been to help unify Americans to defeat Donald Trump and to win the era for our values,” he added.

Despite being significantly behind the race’s frontrunners in Nevada and South Carolina, Pete Buttigieg touted his win in the Iowa caucuses as a major milestone in his campaign, saying it only proved that Americans are hungry for a new kind of politics.

“I will no longer seek to be the 2020 Democratic nominee for president, but I will do everything in my power to ensure that we have a new Democratic president come January,” he said.

Pete Buttigieg Pete Buttigieg officially dropped out of the U.S. presidential race on March 1. GETTY/Scott Olson