BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Former Louisiana Gov. Charles "Buddy" Roemer ended his largely unnoticed presidential campaign Thursday, after attempts to cobble together a third party candidacy fell apart.
"I am no longer a candidate for President of the United States. After 17 months of a wonderful campaign, the lack of ballot access in all 50 states makes the quest impossible for now," Roemer, also a former congressman, announced in a statement.
He first sought to become a GOP nominee, but never polled above single digits and wasn't allowed to participate in the major televised debates.
With no traction as a Republican, Roemer then sought to get the nomination of Americans Elect, a nonpartisan group pushing for a third-party candidate. But Americans Elect shut down its efforts recently, after no candidate met the benchmarks for its nomination process.
Pundits and pollsters have ignored Roemer. Even in his home state of Louisiana, Roemer never polled above single digits among presidential candidates. He raised less than $1 million for the race, according to the most recent campaign finance report filed with the Federal Election Commission.
In many ways, the candidate hindered his own campaign.
Roemer, who served one term as Louisiana governor 20 years ago, ran as an outsider, against what he called the corrupting influence of money in Washington. He refused to accept PAC money or contributions above $100.
"We assumed no debt and we end this campaign with money in the bank. Once again, we ran like we intended to serve. We received contributions averaging less than $50 each from thousands and thousands of Democrats, Republicans and independents in all 50 states," Roemer said.
Though he was ending his presidential candidacy, Roemer pledged to continue his fight against special interest influence in Washington, calling it un-democratic and un-American.
"The special interests give the money and they get a stacked deck in return. And what do we get? We get gridlock, corruption, a do-nothing Washington and a Congress almost certain to be re-elected year after year," Roemer said.
Roemer had been gone from Louisiana's political scene for nearly two decades until he launched his presidential campaign last year. Most recently, he built and ran a Baton Rouge-based bank that serves commercial businesses.
He was in the governor's office from 1988 to 1992. Before that, he was a congressman from 1980 to 1988.