Jan. 13 (UPI) -- New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, one of the first Democrats to enter the 2020 presidential race, announced Monday he's dropping out because he no longer sees a path to the party nomination.
In a statement posted to his campaign website, Booker said the primary reason for his decision is financial.
"Our campaign has reached the point where we need more money to scale up and continue building a campaign that can win -- money we don't have," he said.
"So I've chosen to suspend my campaign now, take care of my wonderful staff, and give you time to consider the other strong choices in the field."
Booker's exit came the day before the seventh Democratic primary debate, for which he did not qualify, and weeks before the start of the critical primary voting season in states like New Hampshire and Iowa. Without Booker, former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick is the only black candidate remaining in the Democratic field.
The former Newark mayor started his campaign last February and was the seventh Democrat to enter the party's field, which at one point grew to include more than 20 candidates.
"I got in the race for president because I believed to my core that the answer to the common pain Americans are feeling right now, the answer to Donald Trump's hatred and division, is to reignite our spirit of common purpose to take on our biggest challenges and build a more just and fair country for everyone," Booker said.
"I will carry this fight forward -- I just won't be doing it as a candidate for president this year."
Booker won a significant number of endorsements in early primary states, but his campaign never gathered enough momentum to rise above single-digit poll figures. His campaign raised $6.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2019, far behind the $35 million of Sen. Bernie Sanders and $23 million of former Vice President Joe Biden.