Steyer drops out of presidential race after third-place S.C. primary finish

Tom Steyer drops out of race

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCSC/AP) - Billionaire activist Tom Steyer is ending Democratic presidential campaign after pouring millions of dollars into his bid.

Steyer made the announcement to supporters in Columbia following his third-place finish in the South Carolina Democratic Primary Saturday night.

“But there’s no question today that this campaign we were disappointed with where we came out," Steyer said. "I think we got one or two delegates from congressional districts, which I thank South Carolina for, and the people. But I said if I didn’t see a path to winning that I’d suspend my campaign. And honestly, I can’t see a path where I can win the presidency. So am I going to continue to work on every single one of these issues? Yes, of course I am. Because I’ve never stopped.”

As of 9:45 p.m., Steyer had pulled in only 11% of the primary vote in the Palmetto State, placing him in a distant third behind former Vice President Joe Biden, who finished with 50%, and second place Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who finished with 19%.

Steyer invested major campaign resources in South Carolina where he had been averaging third place for weeks after failing to generate much momentum in Iowa or New Hampshire. He came in with less than 5 percent of the vote in Nevada.

He said he got into the race because he didn't think racial injustice was being addressed in the country. He said he will continue to work to address that issue. He also thanked his supporters and pledged that he would never forget South Carolina, where he focused most of his presidential efforts.

“The people who have endorsed me have stood up in a very red state where I have seen things that have broken my heart,” Steyer said. “I’m not leaving. We are already working to figuring out ways to make sure that we stay in South Carolina.”

Copyright 2020 WCSC. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.