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Miami Mayor Francis Suarez suspends presidential campaign after failing to qualify for debates

Rachel Mummey | Bloomberg | Getty Images
  • Miami Mayor Francis Suarez suspended his presidential campaign, making him the first Republican primary candidate to drop out of the race.
  • Suarez had previously suggested he would end his campaign if he failed to qualify for the first GOP debate.
  • "While I have decided to suspend my campaign for President, my commitment to making this a better nation for every American remains," Suarez wrote on social media.

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez announced Tuesday he is suspending his presidential campaign, making him the first Republican primary candidate to drop out of the race.

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The longshot candidate's decision came less than a week after he failed to qualify for the first GOP primary debate in Milwaukee. Suarez had previously suggested he would end his campaign if he didn't make the debate stage.

"While I have decided to suspend my campaign for President, my commitment to making this a better nation for every American remains," Suarez wrote in a lengthy post on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, on Tuesday afternoon.

Suarez, 45, entered the already-crowded Republican primary field in June, much later than most of the top contenders — especially former President Donald Trump, whose 2024 campaign launched seven months earlier.

National polls of the primary that included Suarez consistently placed him near the bottom of the pack.

Suarez, a Cuban American, touted his Hispanic heritage and billed himself as a unifier in a politically polarized country. He also ran on his record courting the tech industry to invest in Miami, and leaned into his pro-cryptocurrency views by accepting campaign donations in bitcoin.

"I will continue to amplify the voices of the Hispanic community - the fastest-growing voting group in our country," Suarez said in Tuesday's post.

"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," he wrote.

Suarez was the third Republican from Florida to run for the 2024 presidential nomination, sharing that trait with Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. But while Trump has let loose a relentless barrage of attacks against the governor, the former president rarely, if ever, mentioned the mayor.

Suarez had pulled out at all the stops to meet the Republican National committee's qualifications for the first primary debate. To hit the 40,000-donor minimum threshold, Suarez raffled off tickets to soccer legend Lionel Messi's first Inter Miami game.

The mayor claimed he had secured enough donors and received 1% support in at least three accepted national polls, another requirement. But the RNC left him off its list of eight qualifying candidates, prompting his campaign to go dark for nearly a week.

In Iowa earlier this month, Suarez said, "If you can't meet the minimum thresholds, you shouldn't be trying to take time and volume away from people that do."

Trump, in a Truth Social post later Tuesday afternoon, singled out who he thinks should be the next Republican dropout: his arch-critic, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

Christie "SHOULD DROP OUT OF THE RACE," Trump wrote in a post that did not directly reference Suarez. "HE IS GOING NOWHERE AND IS VERY BAD FOR THE REPUBLICAN PARTY!"

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