SAN JOSE (KPIX) — Former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg dropped out of the race on Sunday, catching many of his hard-working Bay Area supporters by surprise. Now, the first openly gay candidate to seek the Democratic nomination for president is endorsing his rival, former vice-president Joe Biden.
In San Jose, Buttigieg supporters Leslie Murdock and Kathy Hall were disappointed that the early votes they cast for him won’t have an impact in presidential race.
“This isn’t the end of Pete, it’s just the beginning,” Murdock said.
“I was really bummed. I was out canvassing when I heard. It was just surreal thing walking back with our canvas cards,” said Lisa Carhart of Los Altos Hills.
“I was shocked and disappointed, but proud of Pete for doing the right thing,” said Patricia Millard of San Jose.
Karen Petersen pulled up a Mayor Pete yard sign in her front yard and said she would now give her support to Joe Biden.
“It’s bittersweet, but Pete is endorsing Joe Biden now, so I feel good about that,” she said.
Santa Clara County’s Registrar of Voters says about 190,000 people have already voted early, either in person, or by mailing in ballots. If those early voters picked Buttigieg or Amy Klobuchar, who also dropped out of the race, there is no way to get those ballots back.
“There’s no recalling of ballots, once you cast your ballot, that’s final. If someone were to turn in a second ballot, only the first would be counted,” said Eric Kurhi, a spokesman for the Registrar of Voters.
Now with just one day left, it creates a showdown among Democratic front runners Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden with Elizabeth Warren and Michael Bloomberg still trying to gain traction in the Golden State.
“It’s shaping up to be more of a race between the progressive and moderate wings in the Democratic Party,” said Melinda Jackson, a San Jose State University Political Science Professor. “So California will play a big role here and we’ll see where things stand after tomorrow.”