Richardson officially dropped his presidential bid Thursday. (Photo Credit: AP)
(CNN) - New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson announced Thursday he is quitting the Democratic presidential race after fourth-place finishes in the first two contests of the 2008 election.
"Despite overwhelming financial and political odds, I am proud of the campaign we waged," he told cheering supporters in his state capital of Santa Fe.
Richardson, who served as energy secretary and ambassador to the United Nations in the Clinton administration, drew 5 percent of the vote in Tuesday's New Hampshire primary and 2 percent in last week's Iowa caucuses, far behind leading Democrats Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards.
In bowing out, he called the Democratic field "the most promising field in my lifetime" and predicted the party's eventual nominee will win the White House.
Related video: Richardson explains decision