Former mayor and Afghan war veteran Pete Buttigieg has decided to drop out of the race to lead the Democratic party in this year’s US presidential election, The New York Times reported Sunday.

Buttigieg, who used to run the small town of South Bend, Indiana and was the first openly gay major candidate in a US presidential race, has decided to withdraw, a person briefed on his plans told the newspaper.

The 38-year-old’s decision came in the wake of the South Carolina primary on Saturday, where he finished a distant fourth behind former Vice President Joe Biden, Vermont leftist Bernie Sanders and billionaire Tom Steyer.

Though Buttigieg ascended from relative obscurity and faced criticism for his lack of political experience, the young wannabe dazzled many with his cogent and persuasive performances in debates and television interviews.

He won the Iowa caucuses and came in second in New Hampshire. But his weak showing in South Carolina underscored his lackluster support among black and other minority voters — a prerequisite for Democrats running for the White House.

Buttigieg’s decision to quit the race comes ahead of Super Tuesday, the biggest day in the primaries calendar, in which both Biden and Sanders will hope to cement their gains from previous contests.

Also contending will be Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar and former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, who will appear on ballots for the first time after a massive television promotion campaign.

“Pete Buttigieg is OUT. All of his SuperTuesday votes will go to Sleepy Joe Biden,” President Donald Trump said in a tweet.

“This is the REAL beginning of the Dems taking Bernie out of play - NO NOMINATION, AGAIN!”