Former Pennsylvania Congressman Joe Sestak drops presidential bid

A late entry into the 2020 Democratic field, Joe Sestak dropped his bid for the nomination on Sunday.


Shivansh Ahuja

Former representative Joe Sestak speaks at the Des Moines Register Political Soapbox during the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, IA on Saturday, August 10, 2019.

Julia Shanahan, Assistant Politics Editor

Former Pennsylvania Congressman Joe Sestak dropped his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination on Sunday. Sestak was a late entry into the race and did not qualify for any of the Democratic presidential debates.

In a statement posted to Twitter on Dec. 1, Sestak said the U.S. needs a leader with a moral compass who will commit to advancing policies for a collective good.

“Without the privilege of national press, it is unfair to ask others to husband their resolve and to sacrifice resources any longer,” Sestak said about his campaign in the statement.

Sestak, a three-star Navy vice admiral, was the highest-ranking military officer at the time he was elected to Congress. In the November Des Moines Register/Mediacom/CNN Iowa poll, Sestak was polling at 0 percent among 500 likely caucusgoers with a 4.4 percent margin of error. Sestak failed to gain traction in other parts of the country as well, polling at a national average of 0.3 percent according to RealClearPolitics.

RELATED: ‘We’ve been there too long’: Retired Navy Adm. Joe Sestak would pull troops out of Afghanistan as president

Sestak focused much of his campaign on his military background and foreign policy. He said at a stop in Coralville, Iowa, in September that if elected, he would pull troops out of Afghanistan and that the U.S. and other countries should bring about a peace accord.