HOUSTON – Beto O'Rourke has dropped out of the presidential race.
The former U.S. representative from El Paso made the announcement Friday on Twitter, with a longer explanation posted on the website Medium.com.
"My service to the country will not be as a candidate or as the nominee," O'Rourke wrote. "Acknowledging this now is in the best interests of those in the campaign; it is in the best interests of this party as we seek to unify around a nominee; and it is in the best interests of the country."
O'Rourke, a Democrat who represented the 16th Congressional District, was once considered a front-runner in the race to become the party's presidential nominee.
Read O'Rourke's full thank-you letter to his supporters here.