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Marianne Williamson Suspends Presidential Campaign

Democratic presidential candidate author Marianne Williamson had qualified only for the first two Democratic debates this past summer but she did garner an Internet following.

Writer, entrepreneur and spiritual leader Marianne Williamson has ended her presidential campaign, months after garnering viral attention in early debates, earning curiosity but little support from Democratic voters.

"The primaries might be tightly contested among the top contenders, and I don't want to get in the way of a progressive candidate winning any of them," Williamson wrote in a letter to supporters. "As of today, therefore, I'm suspending my campaign."

Williamson had consistently received low poll numbers, and last week, the author laid off her entire campaign staff.

The author and speaker qualified only for the first two Democratic debates this past summer but quickly rose to fame over the Internet, becoming the most-searched-for candidate during the July 30 CNN broadcast and gaining 17,135 new Twitter followers over the next day.

Williamson's campaign revolved around several policies, including allocating $500 billion for reparations to African Americans and Native Americans, as well as other proposals for tackling economic inequality. She advocated for the creation of several new governmental organizations, including a Department of Peace and U.S. Department of Children and Youth.

Williamson faced scrutiny over past controversial comments about vaccines and mental health, including in a contentious interview on CNN where she was challenged by Anderson Cooper over past comments criticizing the prescribing of antidepressants, which she later attempted to take back.

As an author for over 20 years, Williamson's work has been recognized by Oprah Winfrey and featured on The New York Times bestselling list.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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