By Tim Reid
(Reuters) – Former Texas congressman Will Hurd announced on Monday that he is dropping out of the race for the Republican presidential nomination and is endorsing former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley to be the party’s White House standard bearer.
Hurd, who has barely registered in opinion polls of Republican voters since he announced his candidacy in June, is an outspoken critic of Donald Trump, the runaway frontrunner to become the nominee to take on Democratic President Joe Biden in November 2024.
“Unfortunately, it has become clear to me and my team that the time has come to suspend our campaign,” Hurd wrote in a message to supporters.
“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,” Hurd added.
Hurd, a former CIA officer, reiterated his argument that Trump is so divisive that he will likely lose a general election next year if he becomes the Republican nominee.
“If the Republican party nominates Donald Trump or the various personalities jockeying to imitate his divisive, crass behavior, we will lose,” Hurd said.
Hurd’s backing of Haley comes as she has been gaining in some polls on second-place Ron DeSantis, Florida’s governor. Haley, a former United Nations ambassador when Trump was president, also raised over $11 million between July and September, her campaign said on Monday, a sign of growing interest in her bid to take on Trump.
(Reporting by Tim Reid; Editing by Lincoln Feast.)