Former congressman Joe Sestak drops out of 2020 presidential race

Key Points
  • The Pennsylvania Democrat's positions reflected those of his most moderate rivals.
  • He struggled to rise in the polls, generally getting less than 1% support nationally.
Democratic presidential candidate and former Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA) speaks during the Democratic Presidential Committee (DNC) summer meeting on August 23, 2019 in San Francisco.
Justin Sullivan | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Joe Sestak, a retired Navy vice admiral and former congressman from Pennsylvania, has dropped out of the presidential race.

In a Sunday evening tweet, Sestak thanked his supporters. He said, however, "Without the privilege of national press, it is unfair to ask others to husband their resolve and to sacrifice resources any longer."

@JoeSestak: Thank you for this opportunity!

Sestak, a long-shot contender who announced his candidacy on June 23, never made it to the debate stage. He relied on his military experience to set himself apart in the crowded Democratic field — which reached 24 candidates at its peak.

The Pennsylvania Democrat's policy positions reflected those of the most moderate rivals.

He supported universal pre-K and more affordable college options, but not universal loan forgiveness like leading candidates Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. He supported a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants but did not call for major changes to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, which has come under fire from other Democrats for its policies of separating families at the border and stepped up deportations.

Throughout his campaign, he struggled to rise in the polls, generally getting less than 1% support nationally.