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Massachusetts Rep. Moulton Drops Presidential Bid

John Pemble/IPR
Massachusetts Rep. Seth Moulton has dropped his bid for the presidency after struggling to boost his name id in the crowded field.

Massachusetts Congressman Seth Moulton is calling off his campaign for the presidency. He’s the second major presidential candidate to drop out this week, after Washington Governor Jay Inslee, who bowed out Wednesday night.

Like many in the crowded Democratic field of nearly two dozen candidates, it was difficult for the two term congressman to break through.

Running against better-known senators and governors, including his home state colleague Senator Elizabeth Warren, Moulton struggled to expand his name recognition beyond his congressional district in northeastern Massachusetts.

The Harvard-educated Marine Corps veteran ending his bid Friday while speaking to a meeting of the Democratic National Committee in San Francisco.

“Though this campaign is not ending the way I had hoped, I am leaving this race knowing that we raised issues that are vitally important to the American people and our future,” Moulton said.

Moulton said he’s proud of the way he ran his campaign, and noted that the first time he opened up publicly about his PTSD was on the trail.

“I talked publicly about dealing with post-traumatic stress from my combat tours in Iraq, about how I sought help for my post-traumatic stress, help that has made me a better public servant, a better husband, and a better father,” he said.

Moulton’s announcement comes as the field faces an August 28th deadline to meet the DNC’s scaled-up qualifications for the third round of debates, scheduled for September 12th and 13th in Houston. Each candidates must clear 2% in four qualifying polls and receive contributions from 130,000 unique donors across 20 states.

While some of the other lesser-known candidates have garnered the needed donations, carving out 2% in the polls remains a challenge.

Moulton said Friday he will run for re-election in his Massachusetts district and he will support whoever Democrats ultimately choose as their nominee.

Kate Payne was an Iowa City-based Reporter