Thank you for your belief, your trust, and your support.
Today, I announced that I’m suspending my campaign for President. While there were many obstacles we could not have anticipated when entering into this race, it has become clear that in this moment, I won’t be able to break through to the top tier of this still-crowded field of candidates.
It was about six and a half months ago, in a high school classroom in my hometown of Helena, Montana when I entered the race. I said then:
After getting reelected in 2016, our family’s plan was to complete my second term as Governor, then close the book on this chapter of public service.
But what we are experiencing now in this country compelled me to ask whether there was more I can contribute. We have come to a dangerous place in our 243-year experiment with representative democracy. Too many people no longer believe they have a fair shot at as good of, or better, life than the generation they follow. The economy works for some, but far too many are left behind. Then when folks look to Washington, there is reason for skepticism. Trust in government is at its lowest point in my lifetime.
And when trust in government disappears, it gives rise to the dangerous discourse and divisiveness we’ve seen everywhere from Washington, D.C. to our Facebook feeds. Government becomes the enemy instead of a partner in improving our lives. We are more divided today than we have been at any point in my lifetime, with each side more interested in placing blame for what we have become, than inspiring each other to be better.
That is not the country that Lisa and I want to pass on to you, the next generation. We know we’re at our best when we embrace our shared values, not when we divide into warring camps. When a fair shot at opportunity is within reach of every family, not just those with money. When civility replaces anger so that every voice can be heard. When we confront our greatest challenges head-on and lead the way in the community of nations.
I believe we can be that country again. Working together, we can be sure of it.
I entered this race as a voice to win back the places we lost, bridge divides and rid our system of the corrupting influence of Dark Money. While the concerns that propelled me to enter in the first place have not changed, I leave this race filled with gratitude and optimism, inspired and energized by the good people I’ve had the privilege of meeting over the course of the campaign.
I leaned on supporters across our country that have been by my side throughout my decade-long journey in public service, while earning the support of tens of thousands of people who knew little about me before I kicked off this campaign. So many of you contributed your time, energy, and resources. I walked out of every event and fundraiser more inspired and energized than when I entered. I am in awe of how selfless and generous you have been to me and to our effort.
I assembled an incredible team. Seasoned advisors who could have joined any of the candidates were committed to our effort. Those who moved to Helena and worked their hearts out every day. A finance team that covered the country. And the organizers and staff on the ground in Iowa, who inspired me every day through their energy, belief and enthusiasm.
For the supporters who contributed their time, energy, and resources, and the incredible team who inspired me every day through their belief and enthusiasm, I’m thankful. To the voters who shared their personal stories, their ideas, their encouragement, and their dreams — you make me hopeful for what our country can still achieve.
I am grateful for all of you. Your contributions and your sacrifices. I am also grateful for the contributions and sacrifices of my wife and three children.
On the difficult days, I would joke, “it’s worth the sacrifice because it’s only a fair shot at the American dream and our representative democracy at stake.” That truth remains. Yet, even throughout the challenges of the campaign, I have experienced the best of what America offers.
Thank you for your support.