The national Democratic chairman's race is narrowing before party activists even cast ballots.
Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, told Democratic National Committee members Saturday that he did not have the votes and was removing his name from consideration.
That increases the likelihood that former Labor Secretary Tom Perez or Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison could win the job without a marathon voting session.
There still are six candidates, and the winner must win a majority.
Buttigieg had campaigned as an outsider promising "a fresh start." He had hoped neither Ellison nor Perez could reach a majority, opening the door for another option.
Buttigieg urged the party to "look outside Washington" to find its way back.
Ellison, speaking before party activists in Atlanta, says his party is in "this mess because we lost not one election, but a thousand elections" at all levels around the country.
Ellison of Minnesota says he'll turn around the party's fortune if he's elected DNC chairman.
Whatever the outcome, Ellison says it's important that the party is unified after the gathering as Democrats work to counter President Donald Trump.
He says: "We've got to come out of here, hand in hand, brothers and sisters, because Trump is right outside of that door, and not just Trump, but Trumpism."
Other leading candidate to be Democratic Party chairman Tom Perez says his party is "suffering from a crisis of confidence, a crisis of relevance" after the election of Donald Trump as president.
Perez is pledging that if he's elected chairman, he'll help "turn this party around and get Democrats winning again."
The former labor secretary under President Barack Obama says "a united Democratic Party is not only our best hope, it is Donald Trump's worst nightmare."
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