February 3, 2016 at 3:32 pm EDT | by Chris Johnson
After Iowa, four candidates call it quits in presidential race

Martin O'Malley, Rick Santorum, Rand Paul, Mike Huckabee, election 2016, gay news, Washington Blade

From left, Gov. Martin O’Malley (D-Md.), Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) and Gov. Mike Huckabee (R-Ark.) (Washington Blade photos of O’Malley, Santorum and Huckabee by Michael Key; Blade photo of Paul by Lee Whitman)

After abysmal showings in the Iowa caucuses, four presidential candidates called it quits this week in the aspirations for the White House.

The candidates who dropped out were U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley.

On Wednesday, after Politico reported Paul was dropping out of the race, he affirmed his exit in a video he posted on Twitter.

“I think the idea of liberty lives on in you and us,” Paul says in the video. “We will continue to fight. Tonight is the beginning. Liberty will fight on. We fight on.”

Paul, who seemed to be making swan song at a rally on the day of the Iowa caucuses, obtained 4.5 percent of the vote in the GOP caucuses.

Later on Wednesday, CNN reported Santorum would join Paul in exiting despite the former senator’s declaration he would continue to campaign in South Carolina. Santorum won 1 percent of the vote in the GOP Iowa caucuses.

Those announcements follow declarations from Huckabee and O’Malley on the night of the caucuses they were leaving the race.

Huckabee, who vote 1.8 percent of the vote, declared Monday on Twitter with no fanfare his intention to suspend his campaign.

Multiple media outlets on Monday reported O’Malley, who won 0.6 percent of the vote in the Democratic caucus, would suspend his campaign.

The exit of both Huckabee and Santorum after Iowa is noteworthy because Huckabee won the GOP caucuses in 2008 and Santorum narrowly won in 2012.

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson attends the daily White House press briefings and is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

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