Republican George Pataki drops 2016 US presidential bid

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Pataki Drops Presidential Nomination Bid

Former New York Governor George Pataki on Tuesday ended his long-shot bid for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.

"While tonight is the end of my journey for the White House as I suspend my campaign for president, I'm confident we can elect the right person, someone who will bring us together," said Pataki, who ranked at the bottom of the Republican pack in a recent Reuters/Ipsos poll.

Former 2016 presidential candidates who have dropped out of the race:

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2016 presidential candidates who dropped out of race (as of 2/22)
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Republican George Pataki drops 2016 US presidential bid

Jim Webb: Dropped out in September after pursuing the Democratic party nomination

(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Rick Perry: Dropped out in September after pursuing the Republican party nomination

(Photo: Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images)

Lincoln Chafee: Dropped out in October after pursuing the Democratic party nomination

(Photo by Leigh Vogel/WireImage)

Lawrence Lessig: Dropped out in November after pursuing the Democratic party nomination

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Bobby Jindal: Dropped out in November after pursuing the Republican party nomination

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Lindsey Graham: Dropped out in December after pursuing the Republican party nomination​

Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images

George Pataki: Dropped out in December after pursuing the Republican party nomination

Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Mike Huckabee: Dropped out in February after pursuing the Republican party nomination​

(AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato)

Rand Paul: Dropped out in February after pursuing the Republican party nomination​

(AP Photo/John Locher)

Martin O'Malley: Dropped out in February after pursuing the Democratic party nomination.

(AP Photo/Jim Cole, File)

Rick Santorum: Dropped out in February after pursuing the Republican party nomination​

(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Carly Fiorina: Dropped out in February after pursuing the Republican party nomination

(AP Photo/David Goldman)

Chris Christie: Dropped out in February after pursuing the Republican party nomination

(Kayana Szymczak/Getty Images)

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Pataki, 70, made the announcement in a prime-time TV ad that aired in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, which hold the first three contests in the battle for the party's nomination.

His withdrawal is likely to have little impact on the Republican race, which still has 12 candidates. Billionaire businessman Donald Trump leads the field ahead of the opening contest on Feb. 1 in Iowa.

Pataki has vowed not to support Trump if he is the Republican nominee for the November 2016 election, saying the real estate magnate is unfit to be president.

A former three-term governor who has not held office in nearly a decade, Pataki was a moderate voice in a Republican field heavy with conservative candidates.

SEE MORE: Trump steps up attacks against Clinton

As governor of one of the most Democratic-leaning states, he supported abortion rights and signed tough gun control legislation.

When he joined the Republican race in May, Pataki called for a simplification of the U.S. tax code and vowed to repeal President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law. (Reporting by Emily Stephenson and Eric Beech in Washington; Editing by Peter Cooney)

2016 presidential candidates who are still in the race:

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2016 Presidential Candidates Still in Race (as of 2/22)
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Republican George Pataki drops 2016 US presidential bid

Bernie Sanders: Running for the Democratic party nomination

(Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images)

Dr. Ben Carson: Running for the Republican party nomination

(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Hillary Clinton: Running for the Democratic party nomination

(AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Ted Cruz: Running for the Republican party nomination

(AP Photo/J Pat Carter)

Marco Rubio: Running for the Republican party nomination

(Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Donald Trump: Running for the Republican party nomination

(AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Gary Johnson: Running for the Libertarian party 

(AP Photo/Jim Mone)

John McAfee: Running for the nomination of his own 'Cyber Party'

A former tech exec famous for his security software with a checkered legal past, McAfee promises to avoid the campaign trail and run on a platform of "Privacy, Freedom and Technology."

(AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

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