“I ran for president to help forge another direction for our country. I wanted to discuss things I felt needed to be discussed that otherwise were not. I feel that we have done that,” she wrote in a statement on her website.
Williamson, 67, who has consistently polled near the bottom of the Democratic pack of potential candidates, said that she “stayed in the race to take advantage of every possible effort to share our message,” but that it’s become clear she will have enough votes to secure the 2020 nomination.
“With caucuses and primaries now about to begin, however, we will not be able to garner enough votes in the election to elevate our conversation any more than it is now,” Williamson wrote. “The primaries might be tightly contested among the top contenders, and I don’t want to get in the way of a progressive candidate winning any of them.”
“As of today, therefore, I’m suspending my campaign,” Williamson added.
The best-selling author entered the 2020 Democratic presidential primary on Jan. 28, 2019, vowing to bring a “spiritual awakening” to American politics and to “harness love” to defeat President Donald Trump as one of six women in the race.
The New Age guru’s online fanbase became informally known as the “Orb Gang,” connecting niche internet subcultures in a meme-fueled campaign over Williamson’s past encouragement for followers to heal themselves through mindfulness instead of medicine.
During her unorthodox year-long campaign, Williamson proposed several initiatives, including creating a “U.S. Department of Peace,” and made headlines when she stated that her first act as president would be to call New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and challenge her claim that the country was the best place for a child to grow up.
“I would tell her, ‘Girlfriend, you are so on,’ because the United States of America is going to be the best place in the world for a child to grow up,” Williamson said onstage at the first Democratic debate in June.
Williamson, who’s taken controversial stances on vaccination and other health issues, became a top trending candidate on Twitter during the second debate—when she warned that Trump was bringing “this dark psychic force of the collectivized hatred” to the country.
In another controversial moment, Williamson posted—then deleted—a tweet in September suggesting that the “power of the mind” could prevent Hurricane Dorian from making landfall on the U.S. east coast.
Williamson later deleted the tweet, replacing it with an offering of her prayers to the “people of the Bahamas, Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas.”
In October, Williamson failed to qualify for the Democratic debate in Ohio, responding in a guest op-ed for The Washington Post by claiming the debate “contained no magic. If anything, it reduced some very nice people to behavior their mothers probably raised them not to engage in.”
This is Williamson’s second failed political campaign, after previously running for California’s 33rd congressional district in 2014 as an independent.
Shortly after she announced she was dropping out of the 2020 race, the author tweeted: “A politics of conscience is still yet possible. And yes….love will prevail.”