On Tuesday, former Texas congressman Will Hurd announced his surprise exit from the Republican presidential race, endorsing South Carolina governor Nikki Haley, a surprising turnaround from his status as the longest-running GOP contender for the nomination.
Hurd had been campaigning for the GOP nomination since early 2019 and looked to be a long shot when he made his announcement Tuesday. His endorsement of Haley was a shock to many and showed that the race was far from over, even after two of the party’s major candidates had already broken away.
In his statement, Hurd highlighted Senator Marco Rubio’s departure from the race earlier this month as the impetus for his decision to step aside. He said he had come to the conclusion that the best person to carry the GOP banner was Governor Haley, noting her strong stances on foreign policy, immigration, and Medicare expansion.
The endorsement comes at a critical time for the GOP, as they look to bring together a divided primary field. It appears that Hurd may have thrown his support behind Haley in an effort to further unite the party and give a boost to her candidacy.
In response, Haley praised Hurd for his “courage and determination” throughout the race and thanked him for his unwavering support. She also noted that she was humbled to have the backing of the Texas senator, going on to emphasize the need to bring the Republican party together to win in 2020.
Hurd’s exit from the race is sure to be felt in the days leading up to the South Carolina primary, and his endorsement of Haley has given her a much-needed boost in the race. The former Texas congressman may not have been a major player in the GOP presidential nomination fight, but his endorsement of Haley could prove to be a crucial moment in her quest for the White House.