Doug Burgum, the governor of North Dakota who struggled to find his footing in the race for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, ended his campaign on Monday.
Burgum, 67, was a successful software executive and investor before his political career and largely self-financed his candidacy. On the stump, he portrayed himself as a traditional, business-minded conservative but was often lost amid the clatter surrounding former president Donald Trump.
In a statement, Burgum announced he was suspending his campaign but remained "committed to improving the lives of every American by moving America 180 degrees in the opposite direction" of President Joe Biden on the economy, energy, and national security.
While not a frequent critic of Trump’s, Burgum did reject Trump’s false claim that the 2020 election was fraudulent, saying Biden was the rightful victor. Even so, Burgum has been reluctant to publicly condemn Trump's attempts to overturn the election results.
Burgum largely stayed in the background in the first two Republican debates and never enjoyed the kind of moment that would help him break out of the bottom tier of candidates. In Reuters/Ipsos polling, he lagged far behind more viable contenders such as Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, not to mention Trump, the frontrunner for the nomination.
In order to qualify for the first two debates, Burgum’s campaign handed out gift cards worth $20 to the first 50,000 donors who pledged at least $1.
(Reporting by James Oliphant, editing by Ross Colvin, Grant McCool)