Edwards quits US presidential race

John Edwards has officially ended his bid for the White House.

    Edwards surprised many by his strong performance

    In a widely expected move on Wednesday, the North Carolina se

    nator cleared

    the way for

    John Kerry who has swept virtually all of the

    preliminary Democratic nominating contests.

    "Today, I've decided to suspend my campaign for the presidency

    of the United States," Edwards told a crowd of supporters in a

    speech in Raleigh.

    Edwards, 50, quit the race after failing to halt Kerry's advance

    in 10 crucial Super Tuesday Democratic election contests.

    Democratic nomination

    The senator was the last

    serious obstacle blocking Kerry from locking up his party's

    nomination to challenge Republican incumbent George Bush in the

    November election.

    He surprised most political analysts by beating several

    better-known Democratic rivals, won the primary in his native South

    Carolina, and racked up strong second-place finishes in contests in

    Iowa, Wisconsin, and Georgia.

    But Edwards was unable to hold his own against the juggernaut Kerry

    campaign, which steamrolled to continued victories in the

    vast majority of contests.

    It has also amassed an almost

    insurmountable lead in delegates to this summer's Democratic

    nominating convention.



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