In an announcement on Tuesday, Suarez said “running for president has been the greatest honor of my life.” He also vowed to 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,” Suarez said. “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. Younger voters, Independents, urban voters and suburban women- all of whom I’ve carried in previous elections – among others, should find a comfortable home in the GOP and its policies.”
Suarez is the first Republican to drop out of the 2024 race.
Suarez announced ahead of the debate that he had qualified for it by meeting the polling requirements and the donor threshold, claiming to have received donations from “nearly 50,000,” well above the party’s requirement of 40,000. He had also signed the Republican National Committee (RNC) pledge to support the candidate who wins the nomination.
But soon after his announcement, an RNC staffer familiar with the debate planning said Suarez had not been certified as a debate participant.
He later conceded during an interview on Fox News that he was behind on “one national poll or one state poll.” He had earlier said that if a candidate didn’t make the debate stage, that candidate should drop out.
Suarez, who is Cuban American, made a pitch for his candidacy based on his track record as Miami mayor, a part-time position he’s held since 2017, when he was working as a lawyer in a Miami firm. The city mayor’s job is a more limited role than the Miami-Dade County mayor’s. Suarez, a real estate lawyer, also served in the Miami City Commision from 2009-2017.
Since announcing his candidacy in July, Suarez had focused on topics related to the economy and the crisis at the U.S. southern border, which he visited in early August. There, he unveiled a plan proposing investment in Latin American countries to help solve the immigration crisis.
Suarez, the only Latino in the race, was one of four candidates who failed to qualify for the debate stage. Larry Elder and Perry Johnson, two of the other candidates, said they’ll take “legal action against the RNC” over the debate qualification process.
Aaron Navarro contributed to this report.