Democrat Joe Sestak ends 2020 presidential campaign

Joe Sestak, a former U.S. congressman and retired Navy admiral, ended his bid Sunday for the Democratic presidential nomination after his campaign failed to gain traction in the crowded field of contenders.

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"Thank you for this priceless opportunity as I end our campaign together," Sestak wrote Sunday in a statement published on Twitter.

Sestak was a latecomer to the 2020 presidential race, announcing his candidacy in June after his daughter successfully underwent treatment for brain cancer. He ran on a platform focused on the economy and rural communities, but he raised less than $500,000 and typically appeared at the bottom of the slate of prospective candidates in Democratic primary polling, The New York Times reported.

Sestak failed to qualify for any of the debates sponsored this year by the Democratic Party. The Associated Press reported he recently finished a walk across New Hampshire intended to draw interest to his campaign.

"Without the privilege of national press, it is unfair to ask others to husband their resolve and to sacrifice resources any longer," Sestak said. "I deeply appreciate the support so many of you offered -- whether by volunteering, offering financial contributions or coming to our campaign events. I will miss the opportunities I had in experiencing America in such a wonderful way!"

Sestak, 67, spent more than three decades in the Navy and served two terms representing Pennsylvania's 7th Congressional District in the House, from 2007 to 2011. In 2010, he challenged Sen. Arlen Specter in the Democratic primary. He won the nomination but went on to lose to Republican Pat Toomey in the general election.

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