Francis Suarez ends campaign for Republican presidential nomination

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    Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, here on July 28 in Des Moines, Iowa, is ending his campaign for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination. (Photo: Scott Morgan/Reuters/File)

    (CNN) — Miami Mayor Francis Suarez announced Tuesday that he is ending his campaign for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.

    “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.

    Suarez’s move comes after he failed to fully meet the requirements set by the Republican National Committee to make the first presidential debate in Milwaukee last week. He had told CNN prior to the debate that he would drop out should he not make the stage.

    “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 said Tuesday.

    Suarez launched his long-shot bid for the presidency just over two months ago, in mid-June, urging Republicans to unify and evoking Ronald Reagan’s call for the party to rebuild its “big tent” coalition.

    The son of Cuban immigrants, Suarez was the lone major Hispanic candidate in the Republican primary, which includes two higher-profile fellow Floridians: former President Donald Trump and Gov. Ron DeSantis.

    “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,” he said Tuesday.

    Over his short-lived campaign, Suarez acknowledged he did not have the same name recognition as many of his GOP rivals.

    He ultimately did not meet the polling criteria set by the RNC to make the Milwaukee debate stage, his campaign said. Candidates had to register at least 1% support in three national polls or in two national and two early-state polls that met the RNC’s criteria.

    Suarez said he had met the 40,000 individual donor threshold to qualify for the debate. His campaign employed some unconventional methods to meet that goal, including accepting bitcoin donations, offering $20 gift cards and raffling off tickets for soccer superstar Lionel Messi’s debut at Major League Soccer club Inter Miami. The pro-Suarez super PAC, SOS America, also offered a chance to win a free year of college with a $1 donation.

    When asked at the Iowa State Fair in early August if he would drop out if he didn’t make the debate stage, Suarez was upfront.

    “I don’t think candidates should just sort of linger around if they’re not, if they don’t have a credible path,” he said.

    This story has been updated with additional information.

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