Democratic presidential candidate Joe Sestak. | David Becker/Getty Images

By RISHIKA DUGYALA

12/01/2019 06:06 PM EST

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Joe Sestak, a former Pennsylvania congressman and retired three-star Navy admiral, ended his presidential campaign Sunday with a social media announcement and email blast — dropping the crowded Democratic field to 17 candidates.

During his long-shot bid, Sestak struggled to gain name recognition, was left with zero percent support in most polling and had not qualified for any of the Democratic debates. He said in his statement on Sunday that without the “privilege of national press,” he could no longer ask people to sacrifice resources for his campaign.

Sestak also called for a leader that could unite the country.

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