Francis Suarez suspends presidential campaign

Miami mayor failed to make the cut for first presidential debate, and didn’t generate much traction in longshot White House bid

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez Suspends Presidential Campaign
Miami Mayor Francis Suarez (Getty)

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez is giving up on his longshot White House aspirations, suspending his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination. 

A week after failing to make the cut for the first Republican presidential debate, Suarez announced on social media that he’s taking himself out of contention. 

“While I have decided to suspend my campaign for President, my commitment to making this a better nation for every American remains,” Suarez posted on X, the site formerly known as Twitter. 

It was a short-lived campaign that featured Suarez employing gimmicks to raise his profile and meet the criteria for the debate, including giving away $20 gift cards and two front row tickets to watch Leonel Messi play his first home game with Major League Soccer franchise Inter Miami CF. The freebies were meant to drum up support from small donors. 

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Under a scandalous cloud, Suarez in June entered the crowded field of GOP candidates looking to topple Republican frontrunner, former President Donald Trump. Suarez failed to break 1 percent polling numbers. He is also under criminal investigation by local and federal law enforcement authorities for having a previously undisclosed private consulting gig with a company led by disgraced developer Rishi Kapoor.

Urbin, a subsidiary of Coral Gables-based Location Ventures, the firm Kapoor founded, paid Suarez $10,000 a month, according to court documents. Kapoor, who resigned from Location Ventures last month, employed Suarez while Urbin sought city approvals for a co-living and co-working project in Coconut Grove. The developer sought the mayor’s assistance in cutting through bureaucratic red tape that threatened to delay the project, the Miami Herald reported. Suarez’s office also drafted a proposed co-living ordinance with Kapoor’s input that was never approved. 

Suarez and Kapoor both denied that the mayor’s side gig was tied to city business. 

Suarez raised about $2.2 million through his presidential committee and the political action committee, SOS America. Some of the most well known real estate developers and investors in South Florida contributed hefty amounts to SOS America.

For instance, a company owned by Aventura-based multifamily investor Grant Cardone donated $100,000; and New York-based developer David Edelstein and his firm, TriStar, gave a combined $400,000, campaign finance reports show. Barry Sternlicht, CEO of Miami Beach-based Starwood Capital, also chipped in $100,000 to SOS America.