ONLINE EXCLUSIVE STORY BY TIM WEBBER
One of the first things Martin O’Malley did after announcing the suspension of his campaign was give a hug to Drake student Kenia Calderon.
O’Malley, the former governor of Maryland, spoke briefly on Monday evening to confirm that he was cutting short his bid for president. After he was done, he left the stage and made his way through the crowd. O’Malley was the one consoling his supporters, rather than the other way around, as he promised to keep fighting for them and said that he would stay in contact with those he met on the campaign trail.
One of those supporters was Calderon, who acted as a surrogate for the O’Malley campaign when events such as the Democratic debate were held at Drake.
“As an undocumented immigrant, I feel proud that I supported the best candidate that was going to support my undocumented community,” Calderon said. “It’s sad to see him suspend his campaign, but I know so many good things are going to come his way and I’m excited to see everything that will happen.”
O’Malley, who made a surprise appearance at Drake’s Democratic caucus precinct, didn’t get the results he was hoping for in Monday’s Iowa caucuses. With 98 percent of precincts reporting, O’Malley had received less than one percent of the vote.
Speaking at Wooly’s, a music venue in downtown Des Moines, O’Malley urged his supporters to keep fighting for the policies he crusaded throughout his campaign, including workers’ rights, gun control, clean energy development and comprehensive immigration reform.
“We need to continue to hold strong to the truth that the endurance symbol of the United States of America is not the barbed wire fence. It is the Statue of Liberty,” O’Malley said, earning perhaps his biggest cheers of the night.
O’Malley thanked his supporters and family, with the promise of continuing the battle for people like Calderon.
“In conclusion, there is no conclusion. This fight continues,” O’Malley said. “I am suspending this presidential bid, but I am not ending this fight.”