[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/30/art.blackwell.gi.jpg caption="Blackwell threw his support to Steele."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - Former Ohio secretary of state Ken Blackwell ended his run Friday, throwing his support to fellow African-American candidate Michael Steele.
Blackwell had been in last place after four rounds of voting.
"I told you last night that in elections there are two ways that you change outcomes, you either change the composition of the electorate, or you can change the attitude of the electorate," he said.
"My fellow Republicans and members of the RNC, I cannot change the composition of this electorate. Nor would I want to. I do want to influence your perspective and your attitude at this moment in history. We must be a party that makes good the promise of Lincoln. We must unleash a new, a new birth of freedom....
"Ladies and gentlemen, I withdraw my name, but I put my fullest support behind the candidate that I think will do great things. And I do it out of the fullness of conviction of my good book. I believe that the next chairman must inspire hope, must be smart enough to work with the policy leaders to create opportunity for America and must have the leadership, ability and vision to first pull us together and then to pull American together. Because we as Republicans understand that great nations don’t come from great governments, but from good people doing great things together, and that is why I put my fullest support behind Michael Steele."