(MIAMI) — Miami Mayor Francis Suarez announced Tuesday that he is suspending his campaign for president after failing to qualify for the first Republican primary debate last week in Milwaukee.

“Running for President of the United States has been one of the greatest honors of my life,” Suarez said. “This country has given so much to my family and me. The prospect of giving back at the highest levels of public service is a motivator if not a calling. Throughout this process, I have met so many freedom-loving Americans who care deeply about our nation, her people, and its future. It was a privilege to come so close to appearing on stage with the other candidates at last week’s first debate.”

“While I have decided to suspend my campaign for President, my commitment to making this a better nation for every American remains,” Suarez added.

The decision marks days of disputed back and forth by his team over whether he would make it on the stage.

Ultimately, the Republican National Committee said he hadn’t met all of their polling and donor benchmarks — despite claiming otherwise.

He had released a social media video saying he had qualified and urging supporters to tune in.

“I am so excited to be able to deliver my message of prosperity to the entire nation, to introduce myself to the nation,” he said. “This is the beginning of an incredible moment for our country and for our city. I want you all to watch and be a part of it.”

The 45-year-old Suarez, who announced his candidacy in June with an ad showing him running through Miami, pitched himself as an effective leader with the youthful presence needed in the White House.

And in an effort to meet the debate criteria of 40,000 individual donors, Suarez had offered unusual rewards for people who gave his campaign a single dollar, including entrance into a raffle for tickets to Lionel Messi’s first game in Major League Soccer.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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