Miami Mayor Francis Suarez drops out of Republican presidential race

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez is ending his long-shot 2024 presidential campaign less than three months after he launched it.

“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 post shared on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Suarez, the only Hispanic candidate in the GOP nominating contest, launched his campaign in mid-June, later than most of his now-former rivals. Last week, he failed to qualify for the first Republican debate after falling short of the necessary polling requirements.

In a lengthy post on X, Suarez said it was “a privilege to come so close to appearing on stage with the other candidates at last week’s first debate.”

“I had looked forward to sharing the story of Miami, America’s most successful city, especially at a time when so many cities are plagued with poverty, unemployment, high taxes, violent crime, and homelessness,” he said. “I know what we have achieved during my tenure leading the City of Miami can be replicated in every community in our great country.”

Suarez said his brief run for the presidency “has been one of the greatest honors of my life.” During his time on the campaign trail, he cast himself as a traditional conservative and said his campaign was designed to help create a brand of GOP politics that could triumph in general elections.

Suarez, 45, is a lawyer and former Miami city commissioner. He was elected mayor of Miami in 2017 and won reelection to his second term in 2021. He touts himself as the city’s first “Miami-born” mayor and the second Cuban American one — the first was his father, Xavier Suarez.

In his statement, he said he would “continue to amplify the voices of the Hispanic community.”

“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.

He also urged the Republican Party to work harder to attract not only Hispanic voters, but also younger Americans, urban voters and suburban women.

“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 said.

While Suarez vowed to continue working with the GOP to ensure that the party’s candidate wins in 2024, he made no reference to the Republican front-runner in the race, former president Donald Trump. Suarez has previously said he did not vote for Trump for reelection in 2020.

The mayor has been critical of another GOP presidential candidate, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is polling a distant second in the race. Suarez accused DeSantis of waging a “personal vendetta” against the Walt Disney Co. that has cost the state jobs. In January, he acknowledged that he and DeSantis had not spoken to one another in several years, although he brushed it off as nothing out of the ordinary.

Amy B Wang contributed to this report.

This post appeared first on The Washington Post