North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum Suspends 2024 GOP Presidential Campaign

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum Suspends 2024 GOP Presidential Campaign
Republican presidential candidate North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum speaks during the Florida Freedom Summit held at the Gaylord Palms Resort in Kissimmee, Fla., on Nov. 4, 2023. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum withdrew from the Republican presidential race on Dec. 4, despite an unexpectedly strong performance propelled by his campaign in recent weeks.

Mr. Burgum, a prosperous software entrepreneur and second-term governor, initiated his 2024 presidential campaign in June, but was at the time largely unknown on a national scale.

He spent his time in the spotlight emphasizing his leadership of North Dakota and his small-town upbringing, in addition to his focus on energy, the economy, and national security.

However, he was unable to advance to the third debate due to his failure to meet the polling requirements. It appeared he would not be eligible to participate in the fourth debate, which takes place in Alabama in just a few days.

In a race dominated by former President Donald Trump, Mr. Burgum ultimately failed to gain significant ground against his opponents. In suspending his campaign, he is joined by former Vice President Mike Pence, Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), radio host Larry Elder, businessman Perry Johnson, former Texas congressman Will Hurd, and Miami Mayor Francis Suarez.

Mr. Burgum contributed millions of his own funds to the campaign, accounting for $12.2 million of the $15.1 million raised between March and September, according to documents filed with the Federal Election Commission. Filings indicate that a super PAC supporting his candidacy raised more than $11 million in the first half of this year.

His Achilles tendon ruptured the day before the first Republican primary debate in Milwaukee in August, nearly depriving him of his first opportunity for national public exposure. Nevertheless, he continued and appeared on the stage, later explaining to the media that he supported himself behind the podium on one leg. Following that, he resumed his campaign using a knee scooter and a boot.

In 2016, Mr. Burgum, who was a political novice, overthrew the incumbent attorney general in the Republican gubernatorial primary in North Dakota. He is qualified for a third term as governor in 2024 but has not said whether he will seek reelection.

Mr. Burgum assumed office in the midst of a significant state revenue shortfall and demonstrations against the Dakota Access pipeline. Prior to and following his victory, he advocated for his vision of “reinventing” state government.

Burgum Reflects on Being ‘the Underdog’

In a recent column published in local newspaper The Jamestown Sun just two days after the third debate, Mr. Burgum asserted that political “insiders” were trying to “artificially narrow the field” before the 2024 election.

This came shortly after the Republican governor did not qualify for the third debate due to failure to poll at least 4 percent in two national polls or 4 percent in a national poll as well as two polls from the early-voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina, according to the Republican National Committee.

Additionally, he was unable to reach the standard of 70,000 unique donors to his campaign, of which at least 200 must come from 20 states or territories. The candidate only narrowly qualified for the second debate, which took place in October in Southern California.

“I know what it’s like to be the underdog,” the North Dakota governor began in the column. “One of the reasons I decided to run for President in the first place was to give a voice to all those people who have been overlooked by elites on both coasts and the politicians in Washington, D.C. It’s why I’m still running for President.”

In the same piece, he reflected on his 2016 gubernatorial race in which he was behind 59 points in the polls before ultimately winning.

“We won that primary by over 20 points, the general election by 40 points, and re-election in 2020 by the largest margin of any race for governor in the country that year,” he said. “We are deeply grateful for all the amazing support and encouragement we receive.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

From The Epoch Times

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