The large field of Republican candidates challenging former President Donald Trump for the party's 2024 presidential nomination just became a little bit smaller.
Former Texas congressman Will Hurd, who first launched his longshot campaign to be the GOP nominee in June, announced on Monday that he had suspended his campaign and dropped out of the race, the Daily Wire reported.
In exiting the field, Hurd took a few final shots at the former president he ran against and offered up his endorsement, for whatever it is worth, of former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley to be the Republican nominee against President Joe Biden next year.
In a lengthy statement posted to social media Monday evening, former Rep. Hurd revealed that his "dark horse" candidacy had ended and expressed support for his choice of a candidate who he believed was best positioned to defeat both the former and current presidents in a bid for the White House.
"Unfortunately, it has become clear to me and my team that the time has come to suspend our campaign," Hurd wrote. "While I appreciate all the time and energy our supporters have given, it is important to recognize the realities of the political landscape and the need to consolidate our party around one person to defeat both Donald Trump and President Biden."
"I urge donors, voters, and other candidates to unite around an alternative candidate to Trump. Otherwise, we will repeat the same errors as in 2016," he continued. "If the Republican party nominates Donald Trump or the various personalities jockeying to imitate his divisive, crass behavior, we will lose."
Hurd proceeded in his statement to share some of the reasons why he had launched his admittedly long-shot presidential campaign in the first place, primarily a desire to "ensure this experiment called America lasts for another 247 years."
Also of great importance to the former congressman were the "generation-defining challenges" the nation faced, such as the rise of artificial intelligence, a new Cold War against communist China, and the "ongoing crisis" at the southern border.
"Our nation deserves a leader who can unite us and navigate the complex challenges we face, particularly when it comes to our national security," Hurd wrote. "I believe Ambassador Nikki Haley is the best person in this race to do that."
"Ambassador Haley has shown a willingness to articulate a different vision for the country than Donald Trump and has an unmatched grasp on the complexities of our foreign policy," he added. "I wholeheartedly endorse Ambassador Haley and look forward to supporting her for the remainder of this race."
The Daily Wire noted that Hurd's presidential campaign was essentially a lost cause from the very start, as he lacks broad name recognition, never rose above even 1% support in any of the primary polls, and failed to qualify for either of the two Republican primary debates that have already been held.
As for Haley, who in addition to serving as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations also previously served as governor of South Carolina, she has performed far better than most of the other candidates but nonetheless remains far behind the undisputed frontrunner in the GOP primary race, her former boss President Trump.
Indeed, according to the RealClearPolitics average of primary polls, Haley sits in a distant third place in the running with around 7% support, more than five points behind Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis at 12.8%, who in turn trails Trump by nearly 45 points, as the former president garners approximately 57.7% support in the polls from Republican voters and right-leaning independents.
Given the virtually nonexistent impact Hurd had on the 2024 presidential race for the few months that he was in it, it is unclear what, if anything, his dropping out and endorsing of Haley will do to substantially change the current situation in the GOP primary.