Pete Buttigieg delivered some surprising news last night, announcing that he was suspending his campaign for president ahead of Super Tuesday.
The former mayor of South Bend, Ind., said the “path has narrowed to a close for our candidacy” after his fourth-place finish in the South Carolina primary on Saturday.
Buttigieg said that continuing his candidacy might syphon votes from more viable candidates who can “help bring our party and country together.”
While some celebrated the end of his campaign, tributes quickly started to pour in on social media, with many noting that Buttigieg was the first viable LGBTQ candidate for president — one who also became the first LGBTQ person to win a primary state and to lead in delegates for a major party’s nomination.
#ThankYouPete and a number of other hashtags started trending on Twitter, as LGBTQ organizations, political figures, celebrities, and normal people voiced their thoughts on Buttigieg’s history-making run for the nation’s highest office.
“Pete’s candidacy represents a revolution in American politics, forever transforming what is possible for an LGBTQ candidate and making clear America will elect an openly LGBTQ president,” said Annise Parker, president and CEO of the LGBTQ Victory Fund, which endorsed Buttigieg last year. “The impact of his campaign extends beyond this election cycle and is about much more than politics or the presidency. Pete spoke in small-town restaurants in Iowa, held rallies in New Hampshire and battled it out on the presidential debate stage — reaching Americans from all walks of life and changing perceptions of LGBTQ people all along the way.
“He inspired LGBTQ youth to come out in valedictory speeches, to attend their first Pride parade, and to believe America has a place for them. We thank Pete for his courage to stand up and run — to be a trailblazer — and are confident this will not be his last moment on the national stage.”
Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David celebrated that “for the first time in presidential politics a member of our community was a seriously considered candidate, a front runner, and a winner.”
“Mayor Buttigieg ran an incredible campaign that broke glass ceilings and inspired countless LGBTQ people to run for office and enter public service,” David continued. “His history-making, open and honest campaign gave representation to a community that has been for far too long pushed out of the spotlight. He gave a voice to millions across the country, to issues often ignored. He championed his support for LGBTQ equality and effectively articulated how issues of discrimination and inequality personally affected him and his family, undoubtedly moving our country towards a more equal society.
“People from all walks of life saw a viable candidate for president and evaluated him based on his ideas, not his sexual orientation. History will remember him for never backing down from a fight and never settling for less.”
Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of GLAAD, tweeted that Buttigieg’s candidacy was “historic” and that the 38-year-old had “showed the world that Americans are ready to accept and embrace qualified LGBTQ public leaders. His candidacy came after decades of LGBTQ Americans fighting to be heard, be visible, and have a place in the American experience.”
Virginia Del. Danica Roem, the first openly trans person to be elected and re-elected to a state legislature, tweeted, “From one former closet case to another who found the courage to say, ‘This is me,’ thank you.”
Mayor @PeteButtigieg, I’m grateful for who you are.
Your speech at our first @VictoryFund event made me laugh. Your speech last year I later showed to my family because it hit my heart.
From one former closet case to another who found the courage to say, “This is me,” thank you. https://t.co/s41eOEPAqW
— Danica Roem (@pwcdanica) March 2, 2020
Gay Colorado Gov. Jared Polis thanked Buttigieg for his history-making campaign.
Thank you @PeteButtigieg for your historic run, sorely needed message of unity, and forward looking vision. We're all better for having had you in this race, and I can't wait to see what you have in store next!
— Jared Polis (@jaredpolis) March 1, 2020
Sen. Tammy Baldwin, the first openly LGBTQ woman elected to Congress, thanked Buttigieg for inspiring a new generation to enter public service.
Thank you, @PeteButtigieg. You inspired a new generation to public service – many of whom would never have thought it possible. You took a risk, broke new ground, and gave so many a reason to believe we are still a nation that values progress. — TB#ThankYouPete
— Tammy Baldwin (@tammybaldwin) March 2, 2020
Gene Robinson, the first openly gay bishop in the U.S. Episcopal Church, noted the impact Buttigieg’s campaign would have on LGBTQ youth.
Because of Pete, there’s a gay kid somewhere in Idaho or Alabama who now thinks he can be president. NOBODY can take that away from him. His was a campaign filled with integrity, courage, and REAL Christian values. I’m so proud of him. We love you, Pete and Chasten. Thank you.
— Gene Robinson (@BishopGRobinson) March 2, 2020
It was something Charlotte Clymer, rapid response press secretary for the HRC, celebrated in a series of tweets.
As a queer person, as a military veteran who lived under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell", in a society that tells us there is a limit to what someone who is LGBTQ can do, I am incredibly proud of Pete Buttigieg's historic candidacy. He has inspired and galvanized millions. (1/3)
— Charlotte Clymer 🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) March 1, 2020
Pete Buttigieg is putting his country above his ambition in this moment. It takes humility to look at a successful, historic campaign like this and decide that beating Trump is the most important thing. I am grateful to Buttigieg and his team and congratulate them.
— Charlotte Clymer 🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) March 1, 2020
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, the highest-ranking out LGBTQ mayor in American history, said she was “deeply proud” of Buttigieg’s campaign.
I am deeply proud of the campaign that @PeteButtigieg ran. Today, Mayor Pete closed one door, but as the first openly gay candidate to win presidential delegates he opened countless others for LGBTQ+ candidates across the nation.
— Lori Lightfoot (@LightfootForChi) March 2, 2020
Openly gay New York state Sen. Brad Hoylman said he didn’t endorse Buttigieg, but was “glad he ran.”
I didn't endorse Pete, but I am glad he ran. We spent decades fighting the idea that being LGBTQ was disqualifying for a presidential candidate. Not anymore. https://t.co/LBYP02e1Ap
— Senator Brad Hoylman (@bradhoylman) March 1, 2020
It was a sentiment echoed by many.
As someone who’s dealt with fewer opportunities in my chosen industry for being openly gay years before that was welcome, I’m grateful to @PeteButtigieg & @Chas10Buttigieg for ignoring the odds & assumptions & creating a path for LGBTQ in politics that simply did not exist. 🙏🌈
— billy eichner (@billyeichner) March 2, 2020
Many of us were critical of Pete Buttigieg’s campaign, but you can disagree on policy and strategy and still appreciate the barrier he broke through as the first LGBTQ frontrunner for President.
— Adam Best (@adamcbest) March 1, 2020
17yo me heard countless times that “the world isn’t ready for people like you”. Pete Buttigieg’s candidacy threw that nonsense out the window.
To all the LGBTQ young people out there: you can do anything you set your mind to. To Pete: thank you. https://t.co/FOOuXqTdgA
— Brandon Wolf (@bjoewolf) March 1, 2020
#thankyoupete You ran with grace and dignity and spoke for everyone who has ever felt like an other. You showed generations of LGBTQ that they too can bring millions of people together and be a beacon of hope.
— Debra Messing✍🏻 (@DebraMessing) March 2, 2020
Thank you, @PeteButtigieg.
You made history.
You set an example of courage and honesty.
You inspired many of us, particularly the LGBTQ community & their allies.
You taught us to pronounce “Buttigieg”.
And you did it all with such grace.
Looking forward to your next chapter.
— Ana Navarro-Cárdenas (@ananavarro) March 2, 2020
I continue to be grateful for the groundbreaking, historical campaign of @PeteButtigieg.
Thank you for the grit, grace and commitment to country you so brilliantly displayed in your run. You have made this nation better.
— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) March 2, 2020
Thank you @PeteButtigieg for stepping into the arena. Your Douglass Plan should be front & center in 2020 and beyond.
— Stacey Abrams (@staceyabrams) March 2, 2020
.@Chas10Buttigieg, my fellow educator, thank you for your service to our country and all you've done for the man you love, @PeteButtigieg. You made us all believe in ourselves a little more and our country is better for it.
– xo, Jill
— Dr. Jill Biden (@DrBiden) March 2, 2020
And finally, Chasten Buttigieg offered this emotional tribute:
— Chasten Buttigieg (@Chas10Buttigieg) March 2, 2020
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