Following a blowout loss in his home state to GOP front-runner Donald Trump, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio suspended his presidential campaign Tuesday night.
Moments after the race was called for Trump, Rubio, who had campaigned and spent heavily in his home state, delivered a concession speech in which he announced he would quit the 2016 race.
“After tonight, it’s clear that while we are on the right side this year, we will not be on the winning side,” he said at a Miami campaign event that would turn out to be his last as a presidential candidate.
“While this may not have been the year for a hopeful or optimistic message about our future, I still remain hopeful and optimistic about America,” he added.
Trump was declared the winner of the Sunshine State’s GOP primary as soon as polls closed Tuesday night.
With more than 80% of the state’s precincts reporting, Trump had 46% of the vote, compared with 27% for Rubio and 17% for Ted Cruz.
Rubio’s soaring speech was interrupted by supporters, who professed their love for the candidate, and other voices that appeared to belong to hecklers.
After he finished, the 45-year-old pol hugged his family and walked off stage to cheers.
It was a somber end for a campaign that ended before John Kasich and Ted Cruz, both of whom remain in the race to try and catch Trump, who only added to his lead Tuesday.
His exit follows those of fellow Floridian Jeb Bush, who quit the race following a bruising loss in South Carolina’s primary, and Ben Carson, who dropped out after a poor finish on Super Tuesday.