Delaney, longest-running Democratic candidate, ends 2020 bid

FILE - In this Sept. 19, 2019 file photo, Democratic presidential candidate former Maryland Rep. John Delaney speaks at the Climate Forum at Georgetown University in Washington. Delaney, the longest-running Democratic candidate in the 2020 presidential race, is ending his campaign after pouring millions of his own money into an effort that failed to resonate with voters. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
FILE - In this Sept. 19, 2019 file photo, Democratic presidential candidate former Maryland Rep. John Delaney speaks at the Climate Forum at Georgetown University in Washington. Delaney, the longest-running Democratic candidate in the 2020 presidential race, is ending his campaign after pouring millions of his own money into an effort that failed to resonate with voters. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana) (Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

WASHINGTON, D.C. – John Delaney, the longest-running Democratic candidate in the 2020 presidential race, is ending his campaign after pouring millions of his own money into an effort that failed to resonate with voters.

The announcement, made Friday morning, further winnowed down a primary field that had once stood at more than two dozen.

“At this moment in time, this is not the purpose God has for me," Delaney said, in an interview with CNN. “We’ve clearly shaped the debate in a very positive way."

The former Maryland congressman has been running for president since July 2017, though Delaney's early start did little to give him an advantage in the race or raise his name recognition with Democratic primary voters.

In a field dominated by well-known candidates from the liberal wing of the party, Delaney, 56, called for a moderate approach with “real solutions, not impossible promises,” and dubbed the progressive goal of “Medicare for All” to be “political suicide.”

Delaney last appeared on the Democratic debate stage in July 2019 but continued to campaign even as his presidential effort largely failed to gain traction. Delaney joins other candidates like Montana Gov. Steve Bullock and former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper who unsuccessfully tried to woo moderate voters before ending their respective campaigns.

Campaign finance reports showed Delaney’s campaign was more than $11 million in debt largely because of loans Delaney made to his campaign. At the end of December, months after he had last been on a debate stage, the former lawmaker had just under $140,000 in cash on hand.

Before billionaires Tom Steyer and Michael Bloomberg entered the presidential race and used their substantial wealth to gain attention, Delaney tried a similar approach. Back in March, he promised to donate $2 to charity for every new donor who donated on his website. Then in October, Delaney dangled “two club-level” World Series tickets, with hotel and airfare included, as a prize for those that donated to his campaign.