Former New York Gov. George Pataki is suspending his presidential campaign, he announced in a video message Tuesday evening.
"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," Pataki said in the message, which aired on NBC affiliates in New Hampshire, Iowa and South Carolina.
Boston Globe reporter James Pindell first reported that Pataki was calling key New Hampshire donors Tuesday afternoon to inform them of his decision.
In a crowded primary field, Pataki, as a moderate Republican, struggled to gain traction. Lagging in the polls, Pataki never made the main debate stage and eventually failed to qualify for the undercard debate.
"If we're truly going to make America great again, we need to elect a president who will do three things: confront and defeat radical Islam, shrink the size and power of Washington, and unite us again in our belief in this great country," Pataki said in announcing his exit from the race.
Pataki launched his long-shot bid in May in a campaign video that touted his leadership in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. He had made initial moves toward running for president in 2000, 2008 and 2012, but never launched a campaign until this year.
Pataki defeated three-term New York Gov. Mario Cuomo in a 1994 upset and went on to serve three terms himself, leaving office in 2007.
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