In slightly more than two months, Republicans will commence the voting process to select their 2024 presidential nominee. With the nation heading towards the Iowa presidential caucuses scheduled for January 15, the pool of primary contenders is gradually shrinking. During the final week of October, two additional candidates withdrew from the race, with one of them expressing support for former President Donald Trump.
Larry Elder, a Republican primary contender, made an announcement on October 26 regarding the suspension of his campaign. The 71-year-old candidate gained recognition for his bid to replace California Governor Gavin Newsom (D) during the 2021 recall election. Despite Governor Newsom defeating the recall effort and Elder, his attempt to garner significant support in the primary has fallen short.
In a press statement, he conveyed that he arrived at the challenging choice to conclude his campaign after thorough deliberation and consultations with his advisors. He also revealed his decision to endorse Trump. He further expressed that the former president played a pivotal role in promoting conservative, America-first values and policies that, in his view, have been advantageous for the American populace.
Elder continued to express his belief that it is imperative for Conservatives to rally together under the banner of the former president to defeat President Joe Biden. The former candidate emphasized that the most pressing challenges confronting America involve the fatherlessness crisis and the unfounded claim of systemic racism within the nation.
Additionally, he conveyed his desire to establish a constitutional amendment that imposes constraints on spending as a percentage of the GDP, with the aim of addressing the debt crisis. He believed that his campaign effectively drew attention to these critical issues.
Honored to have just met with @realDonaldTrump to lend him my endorsement for President. I am grateful for the support I received from so many of you across the country. Statement below: pic.twitter.com/1LE9PMtv7c— Larry Elder (@larryelder) October 26, 2023
Just two days following Elder’s withdrawal from the race, former Vice President Mike Pence also decided to step back from the competition. On October 28, Pence participated in the Republican Jewish Coalition’s yearly gathering and conveyed to the audience that it had become evident to him that the timing was not right for his candidacy. He further stated that, after extensive reflection and prayer, he had made the choice to immediately suspend his campaign.
In contrast to Elder, Pence refrained from endorsing Trump. In fact, one of the factors contributing to the former Indiana governor’s campaign struggles was the perception among many Republicans that he was displaying disloyalty to his former superior. Pence recognized that he faced a challenging path, but he affirmed that he holds no regrets.
At present, Trump maintains a commanding lead in the presidential race with a substantial double-digit margin. Following the former President, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley occupy the second and third positions.