Pete Buttigieg – Photo: LGBTQ Victory Fund.
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.”
Related: Pete Buttigieg ends historic campaign for president
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.”
Gay Colorado Gov. Jared Polis thanked Buttigieg for his history-making campaign.
Sen. Tammy Baldwin, the first openly LGBTQ woman elected to Congress, thanked Buttigieg for inspiring a new generation to enter public service.
Gene Robinson, the first openly gay bishop in the U.S. Episcopal Church, noted the impact Buttigieg’s campaign would have on LGBTQ youth.
It was something Charlotte Clymer, rapid response press secretary for the HRC, celebrated in a series of tweets.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, the highest-ranking out LGBTQ mayor in American history, said she was “deeply proud” of Buttigieg’s campaign.
Openly gay New York state Sen. Brad Hoylman said he didn’t endorse Buttigieg, but was “glad he ran.”
It was a sentiment echoed by many.
And finally, Chasten Buttigieg offered this emotional tribute:
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