Aug. 29 (UPI) -- Miami Mayor Francis Suarez is suspending his campaign for the Republican nomination for president, saying Tuesday that running for the office has been "one of the greatest honors of my life."
Suarez tweeted the announcement nearly a week after missing the first Republican primary debate in Milwaukee. He was one of a handful of candidates who did not meet the eligibility requirements, though he said he was close.
"Throughout this process, I have met so many freedom-loving Americans who care deeply about our nation, her people, and its future. It was a privilege to come so close to appearing on stage with the other candidates at last week's first debate," Suarez said. "While I have decided to suspend my campaign for president, my commitment to making this a better nation for every American remains."
He is the first candidate from the crowded Republican field to suspend their campaign.
Suarez added that he will continue to "amplify the voices of the Hispanic community," which he notes is the fastest-growing voting group in the United States. The population of eligible Hispanic voters has grown by 62% since 2018, according to Pew Research Center.
Suarez has served as mayor since 2017, holding an office his father Xavier Suarez once held.