Former President Donald Trump is still the frontrunner to win the GOP nomination in 2024.
But there is a long line of Republicans stating their case – some more convincingly than others – that they are the right person to lead the party.
But now the first candidate has dropped out of the race — and it could begin a trend of more to follow quickly.
Last week, seven men and one woman took to the debate dais and made the case of why they would be the best candidate to represent the Republican party in the 2024 presidential election.
Missing was the frontrunner in the race, former President Donald Trump – who instead joined Tucker Carlson for a long-form, sit-down interview.
A Fox News poll showed Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis was the “winner” of the debate, with 29% of Republican voters saying he performed the best.
Tech and finance entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy was the talk of social media following the debate.
And many people were surprised by former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley’s solid performance – while many others weren’t pleased with the content coming out of her mouth during that performance.
Almost universally, political commentators found former Vice President Mike Pence, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, current North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum and former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson were the night’s big losers.
However, one candidate was totally forgotten during the debate – and now his campaign is over.
Republican Mayor of Miami Francis Suarez fell just shy of receiving the minimum 40,000 donations of at least $1 to make the cut for last week’s debate.
According to FiveThirtyEight, he was polling at less than a quarter of a percent in the GOP primary.
And now he has ended his long-shot White House bid.
Suarez said it was an honor to run and he wished he could have had more opportunities to tell the success story of Miami compared to most cities of its size, which struggle with more violent crime, homelessness, drug abuse and high taxes.
As his tweet announcing his withdrawal from the race suggested, Suarez says he remains committed to continuing the trend of hardworking Hispanic men and women fleeing the Democrat party and joining the GOP.
“While I have decided to suspend my campaign for President, my commitment to making this a better nation for every American remains,” Suarez tweeted. “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.”
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. Throughout this process, I have met…
— Mayor Francis Suarez (@FrancisSuarez) August 29, 2023
The 45-year-old, two-term Mayor of Miami added he’ll continue working to attract more young voters, independents, urban voters and suburban women to the party.
While Suarez is conservative for the mayor of a large city like Miami, he’s very moderate by national Republican standards.
In fact, in 2018 he voted for now-convicted criminal Andrew Gillium for governor over Ron DeSantis and in 2020 he wrote-in Marco Rubio’s name instead of voting for Donald Trump.
He also participates in Miami Pride events, has previously declared a so-called “climate emergency” in the city, supports birthright citizenship and increasing the size of the refugee system, and he opposed expanding DeSantis’ Parental Rights in Education provisions past third grade.
These positions are outside of the conservative base and could have caused Suarez issues connecting with primary voters.
Suarez wasn’t the only primary candidate who failed to qualify for the debate stage last week and isn’t gaining any traction in the polling.
Conservative radio talk show host Larry Elder was held out of the debate on a technicality, while other candidates reportedly met the threshold by using gift cards to keep their donations coming in.
After a radical judge disqualified him for running in the Michigan gubernatorial contest in 2022, businessman Perry Johnson entered the presidential race.
Congressman William Hurd wants to jump from representing southwestern Texas to representing the entire nation.
Co-founder and CEO of Generational Equity Group and lead pastor of Create Church, Ryan Binkley is hoping to restore faith in America.
Now that Suarez has exited the contest, some of those others will likely start following suit soon.
Political Animal News will keep you up-to-date on any new developments in this ongoing story.