Bay Area supporters react as Buttigieg suspends presidential bid

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- It wasn't the speech Pete Buttigieg supporters, who gathered at South Beach Cafe in San Francisco, wanted to hear.

"We have a responsibility to consider the effect of remaining in this race any further," said Buttigieg, announcing that he was suspending his race for the Democratic nomination for president. He gave the speech in South Bend, Indiana, where he served as mayor.

"(I was) somewhat surprised by the timing, I thought we would at least be in through Super Tuesday," says Surajit Bose, a volunteer with the Bay Area group Peninsula for Pete, who watched the speech at South Beach Cafe.

Though upset, Bose says dropping out is consistent with Buttigieg's values of putting the country first and trying to unite democrats.

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"By staying in, Pete probably reached the conclusion that he wasn't healing that fragmentation, but continuing to contribute it," says Bose.

Buttigieg, the former mayor from the small town in Indiana, outlasted several big-name rivals in the bid to become the Democratic nominee for the 2020 presidential election. But some of his supporters admit, there were obstacles to Buttigieg winning California.

"I think if you look at it state-by-state, were actually falling off from the top three. (And) we didn't have the money to compete in places like California," says Joseph Rodriguez, a volunteer with San Francisco for Pete.

ABC7 News contributor Phil Matier says, it's also a likely strategic move. In California, Buttigieg was polling between seven to 10 percent. Knowing that a key state like California may be out of reach, Buttigieg may have pulled out in order to boost others.

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"He had a very strong showing, number one, in Iowa. Good showing in New Hampshire. But South Carolina and the rest of the country, it was going to be a different story," says Matier. "So pulling out prior to Super Tuesday was actually a strategic move, if there is a chance to get somebody besides Bernie Sanders. If that's what Pete Buttigieg is out to do, this is the time to do it, because after Super Tuesday there is going to be a split up of delegates. And if it is really all over the map, that plays to Bernie Sander's favor."

State Senator, Scott Weiner (D- San Francisco), who is up for re-election, is backing Elizabeth Warren. But he described Mayor Buttigieg's race as "historic."

"I think having a member of the LGBTQ community in such a prominent political position, that is important, (regardless of) whoever you are supporting," says Wiener. "Mayor Pete broke ground. He created political space for other LGBT people to run and be open about who we are, so I respect him a lot."


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