“I’m lending my support to Andrew in Iowa, hopefully to help him get past the early primaries & remind us not to take ourselves too seriously. We need that this year. We need to lighten up on a personal level, because the moment is so serious on a political level,” Williamson wrote in a series of Instagram posts.
Williamson was clear in her post that she’s not “endorsing anyone” in the race yet, and is simply supporting Yang through the Iowa caucuses.
Williamson also praised Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, writing that she admires both of them but that “right now they don’t need my help” ahead of next month’s caucuses.
The former candidate said Yang is defined by his “self-confidence, levity, and positivity,” and that he is “light in tone, but he is deep in substance.”
“I know from first hand experience the breadth of his intellect and the expansiveness of his heart,” she wrote in the posts.
Yang said on Thursday that he is “very grateful” for Williamson’s support, writing in a tweet that he’s “learned a lot from Marianne and continue to do so.”
Williamson’s announcement comes less than two weeks before the state holds the first contest of this year’s nominating process. Yang, an entrepreneur whose campaign is centered on his proposal of a universal basic income of $1,000 a month to address economic inequality, has struggled to gain a significant amount of traction thus far. A CNN/Des Moines Register/Mediacom poll taken earlier this month by likely caucusgoers in Iowa showed him at 5%.
Yang has gained endorsements from a number of celebrities, including comedian Dave Chappelle, actor Ken Jeong and actor/singer/rapper Donald Glover, also known as Childish Gambino.
The announced support from Williamson comes almost two weeks after the author ended her own campaign. Williamson had not qualified for the Democratic debate last week, and she had laid off campaign staff nationally in the days before she dropped out.
CNN’s Caroline Kenny, Kate Sullivan and Eric Bradner contributed to this report.