Larry Elder ends his campaign for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination

Conservative talk radio host Larry Elder on Thursday ended his campaign for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, throwing his support behind former President Donald Trump.

“As I look at the path forward, and after careful consideration and consultation with my campaign team, I have made the difficult decision to suspend my campaign,” he wrote in a lengthy statement.

“Now that I am exiting the race, I am proud to announce my endorsement of Donald Trump for President of the United States,” he continued. “His leadership has been instrumental in advancing conservative, America-first principles and policies that have benefited our great nation. We must unite behind Donald Trump to beat Joe Biden and fight back against Biden’s unprecedented election interference and the left’s destruction of America.”

Before dropping out, Elder met with Trump at Mar-a-Lago. He attended the former president’s fundraiser Thursday night, a source familiar with the matter told CNN.

Elder failed to meet the donor and polling requirements set by the Republican National Committee to make the first presidential debate in August. He sharply criticized the RNC’s debate qualification requirements and said that he intended to sue the RNC to “halt” the proceedings, asserting that officials were “afraid of having my voice on the debate stage.”

He joins former Texas Rep. Will Hurd, Michigan businessman Perry Johnson and Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, who have previously ended their bids.

Elder launched his bid for the Republican presidential nomination in April, pointing to securing the border and combating criticism that the United States is systemically racist as his reasons for running. His campaign has also raised topics such as school choice, limiting federal spending and countering the “epidemic of fatherlessness.”

Elder was the top Republican opponent to California Gov. Gavin Newsom during the unsuccessful effort to recall the Democratic leader in 2021, which had emerged due to partisan anger over the governor’s pandemic response.

He has spent the past few decades in the media industry, writing multiple books and hosting TV shows. He began hosting his radio show, “The Larry Elder Show,” in 1993. Elder also practiced law and went on to start his own legal recruitment firm, Laurence A. Elder & Associates, which he owned for 15 years.

The radio host has faced heavy scrutiny related to his long history of disparaging remarks about women, and he has been accused of domestic violence and of brandishing a gun in 2015 by his then-fiancée and former employee Alexandra Datig. Elder has denied the allegations.

Elder graduated from Brown University with a degree in political science and from the University of Michigan School of Law.

This story has been updated with additional information.

CNN’s Kristen Holmes and Veronica Stracqualursi contributed to this report.

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