Miami Mayor Francis Suarez Says He’s Met Donor Threshold for First GOP Presidential Debate

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez Says He’s Met Donor Threshold for First GOP Presidential Debate
Miami Mayor and 2024 Republican Presidential hopeful Francis Suarez speaks at the Republican Party of Iowa's 2023 Lincoln Dinner at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines, Iowa, on July 28, 2023. (Sergio Flores/AFP via Getty Images)

Miami’s Republican Mayor Francis Suarez has announced that his presidential campaign has fulfilled one of the conditions necessary to take part in the first GOP primary debate scheduled for Aug. 23.

“I am extremely pleased to announce that my campaign has today passed the 40,000 unique donor threshold set by the @GOP to make the debate stage,” Mr. Suarez said in an Aug. 8 post on X. “In less than six weeks, my team and I have quite literally gone from zero to a hundred and we are confident that I will be on the debate stage in two weeks.”

In order to attend the first Republican debate, a candidate must have 40,000 unique donors and a minimum of 200 unique donors from 20 or more states and territories.

They must also be polling at a minimum of 1 percent in three national polls. Alternatively, the candidate has to have at least 1 percent in two national polls as well as in an early state poll from two out of these four states—Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, and South Carolina.

According to a FiveThirtyEight calculation of polling averages in the GOP primary, Mr. Suarez only has the support of 0.1 percent of voters. As such, the Republican candidate still has a challenge to overcome to qualify for the debate.

In his post, Mr. Suarez expressed hope that he can attract more voters to his side.

“If my party wants to beat Joe Biden, then we need to build a bigger and better tent, and I believe I can attract the Hispanic and suburban voters pivotal to winning back Arizona, Nevada, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania that no other candidate can,” he said.

“I’ve done it in Miami, having won with 85 percent of the vote in a city that voted for Hillary Clinton by 30-points—and it’s time we do the same for America.”

Former President Donald Trump, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, former Vice President Mike Pence, former United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley, Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum all appear to have qualified for the debate.

Another condition to attend the event is that candidates need to sign a loyalty pledge agreeing that they will support whoever is eventually nominated to be the Republican Party’s official candidate for 2024, The Hill reported.

Some people have raised doubts about whether the pledge can even be enforced. In 2016 during the first primary debate, President Trump did not abide by the rule.

As of July 3, Mr. Suarez, Mr. Scott, Mr. Burgum, and Ms. Haley have verbally committed to supporting the 2024 Republican nominee.

The GOP will also require that candidates agree to not take part in any debate that the Republican National Committee has not sanctioned.

FiveThirtyEight reports that as of Aug. 8, President Trump is leading with 52.4 percent support from voters, followed by Mr. DeSantis at 15.6 percent, Mr. Ramaswamy at 7.2 percent, Mr. Pence at 5.2 percent, and Ms. Haley at 4.1 percent. The remaining candidates have less than 4 percent support.

Suarez’s Presidential Campaign

Mr. Suarez announced his candidacy later than many other GOP hopefuls. He officially filed his paperwork with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) in June.

Just as with polls, he trails other GOP candidates when it comes to fundraising. According to data from the FEC, Mr. Suarez had only raised $945,450 as of June 30. President Trump has raised over $35 million, Mr. DeSantis $20 million, Mr. Ramaswamy $19 million, and Ms. Haley $10 million.

The Suarez campaign has pushed his economic achievements in Miami as well as anti-crime efforts to promote him as a GOP presidential hopeful.

“Because of Mayor Suarez’s tough-on-crime and back-the-blue approach, Miami currently has its lowest homicide rate since the 1950s and the lowest homelessness rate since 2013,” said Chapin Fay, a spokesperson for Mr. Suarez’s SOS America PAC, in a June 14 press release.

“Under his leadership, the Miami economy is thriving. Miami boasts the nation’s lowest unemployment rate at 1.4 percent and Mayor Suarez’s fiscal policies have achieved the city’s lowest tax rate since the 1960’s, the creation of 8,000 new jobs and an additional $1 billion in wages to Miami’s economy.”

Mr. Suarez is under an ethics investigation for payments received for private consulting, according to a Miami Herald report. In an interview with Fox News, he denied any conflict of interest. He insisted that the Miami Herald had a liberal bias.

Mr. Suarez did not support President Trump in the 2016 race, instead backing Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.). However, his stance on the former president has changed in recent times.

In an interview with Politico in May, Mr. Suarez said that he believes President Trump is “true to who he is—and frankly, voters obviously like it.”

The Trump campaign has also praised him. Some GOP supporters have backed Mr. Suarez as a vice presidential candidate for President Trump.

From The Epoch Times

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