Former Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel, age 89, has called off his campaign for president.
The announcement came over Twitter, when his account wrote, “The DNC kept us off the stage tonight even though we qualified, but the #Gravelanche is not over. We’re gonna keep going. As the campaign ends, we’re going to help build institutions on the left which can grow power, shape policy, and create strong activists for the long haul.”
He said his campaign will donate all funds raised and unspent to form a “leftist” think take called the Gravel Institute. The institute will carry on his work of producing policy papers to steer the Democratic Party’s platform further left.
Campaign manager David Oks and chief strategist Henry Williams recruited Gravel to form an exploratory committee in March, and officially launch the campaign in April. Gravel said from the beginning that the reason he was running was to force candidates further left. He and his wife Whitney said they will announce their endorsements next week.
Gravel was the U.S. Senator for Alaska from 1969 to 1981. He ran for president in 2008.
This year, he didn’t make the debate stage in July for the Democratic Party, even though he had raised the required amount of money from individual donors. A tie-breaking rule knock him out of the prized spot: