The 2024 presidential race already has its first candidate to drop out: Miami Mayor Francis Suarez.
The GOP contender announced on Tuesday that he was suspending his campaign, which failed to gain traction amid a large field of alternatives to front runner Donald Trump. Suarez failed to qualify for the first presidential debate last week, something that also may prove to be a reckoning for other candidates absent from the stage.
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“While I have decided to suspend my campaign for President, my commitment to making this a better nation for every American remains,” Suarez said in a statement posted on X, formerly known as Twitter.
“I will continue to amplify the voices of the Hispanic community – the fastest-growing voting group in our country. The Left has taken Hispanics for granted for far too long, and it is no surprise that so many are finding a home in America’s conservative movement. Our party must continue doing more to include and attract this vibrant community that believes in our country’s foundational values: faith, family, hard work and freedom. Younger voters, Independents, urban voters and suburban women- all of whom I’ve carried in previous elections – among others, should find a comfortable home in the GOP and its policies.”
Suarez had staked his campaign on his record as mayor of Miami. Two other candidates who also didn’t qualify for the stage, Larry Elder and Perry Johnson, have filed complaints with the Federal Election Commission. Another candidate, Will Hurd, also failed to make the cut.
Candidates needed to have a minimum of 40,000 donors and at least 1% in three approved national polls or a mix of national and state polls. They also had to sign a pledge to support the GOP nominee, whoever that is. The criteria gets more stringent for the next debate, to be held on Sept. 27 at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. Candidates have to have reached 50,000 unique donors and 3% in three national polls or two national and two early state polls. The criteria was set by the Republican National Committee.
It’s not unusual for candidates to drop out of the race this early, as campaigns start to run out of money if they do not gain momentum. In the last cycle, Democrat Eric Swalwell, the California congressman, ended his presidential bid in July, 2019, the first of a large field of candidates to do so. In the cycle before that, Rick Perry, the former Texas governor, was the first to drop out of the race for the Republican nomination when he suspended his campaign in September 2015.
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