Election 2020 Nevada

Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary and Democratic presidential candidate Julian Castro

Former San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro announced Thursday he was ending his quest for the Democratic presidential nomination.

“It’s with profound gratitude to all of our supporters that I suspend my campaign for president today,” Castro announced on Twitter. “I’m so proud of everything we’ve accomplished together. I’m going to keep fighting for an America where everyone counts – I hope you’ll join me in that fight.”

Castro, who also served as secretary of Housing and Urban Development in President Barack Obama’s administration, primarily campaigned on immigration reform and other progressive issues such as “Medicare for All” and Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal.

Castro, 45, was averaging less than 2 percent support in national polls and raised just $3.5 million in campaign contributions in the third quarter of 2019. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, by contrast, raised nearly $27 million during the fourth quarter of last year.

Castro had been vocal on the campaign trail in his criticism of the Democratic National Committee for continuing to allow Iowa and New Hampshire to vote first, saying the lack of a diverse population in those states harms candidates of color.

New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and California businessman Andrew Yang are now the only Democratic candidates of color still running for the Democratic nomination.

None of them thus far have qualified for the next DNC debate, scheduled for Jan. 14 in Iowa.

In a video statement Thursday morning, Castro said he had a “heavy heart” in making the announcement.

“But with only a month until the Iowa caucuses and given the circumstances of this campaign season, I’ve determined it simply isn’t our time,” he said

The Iowa caucuses are Feb. 3 and the New Hampshire primary is Feb. 11.