Miami Mayor Francis Suarez announced he is suspending his presidential campaign, becoming the first candidate to drop out of the 2024 GOP race.
“Running for President of the United States has been one of the greatest honors of my life. This country has given so much to my family and me. The prospect of giving back at the highest levels of public service is a motivator if not a calling,” Suarez said in a statement. “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.”
“I look forward to keeping in touch with the other Republican presidential candidates and doing what I can to make sure our party puts forward a strong nominee who can inspire and unify the country, renew Americans’ trust in our institutions and in each other, and win,” Suarez added.
Suarez struggled to gain traction during his short-lived campaign. He, like most of the other candidates in the race, emulated front-runner and former President Donald Trump. After announcing his bid in June, the Miami Republican generated headlines for being seemingly unaware of the Uyghur ethnic minority group in China, asking an interviewer, “What’s a Uyghur?”
His campaign largely focused on stunts like posting workout videos featuring the candidate as well as releasing a bizarre artificial intelligence chatbot of Suarez’s likeness and voice to answer questions about him.
But the attention-grabbing antics failed to attract donors. At one point, Suarez’s campaign offered supporters $20 gift cards in exchange for $1 donations so he could qualify for the Milwaukee debate. It wasn’t enough.
Conservative radio host Larry Elder and businessman Perry Johnson, similarly long-shot presidential candidates, also failed to qualify for the debate but are still in the running.