Buddy Roemer announced on Thursday that he is suspending his quixotic campaign for the presidency, saying in a statement that he is shifting gears and plans to form a nonprofit organization to press for the reform of the campaign finance system.

Roemer launched his campaign for the Republican nomination 17 months ago, before running under an Independent ticket to seek the nomination of the privately funded Americans Elect campaign. From the beginning, his intention was clear: to build an underdog campaign on the idea that the money of special interests and big-name donors has corrupted the American electoral process.  As a result, his campaign accepted no money from political action committees and no individual contributions surpassing $100.

The former Louisiana governor and congressman was not permitted to participate in any of the 23 national Republican debates, allegedly because he did not meet polling requirements.

As I am no longer a candidate for president, I am free to pledge a good portion of the rest of my life to enacting campaign reform in the halls of Congress and the corridors of the White House, Roemer said in a statement. Instead of using my right to the floor of Congress to lobby for corporate clients, I will lobby for the American people who want reform.