Robin Opsahl, Iowa Capital Dispatch
North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum announced Monday he would end his campaign to become the 2024 Republican presidential nominee.
In a statement on suspending his campaign, Burgum criticized the Republican National Committee’s debate structure, saying the fundraising and polling criteria “ensure advantages for candidates from major media markets on the coasts versus America’s Heartland.”
“The RNC’s clubhouse debate requirements are nationalizing the primary process and taking the power of democracy away from the engaged, thoughtful citizens of Iowa and New Hampshire,” Burgum said. “The RNC’s mission is to win elections. It is not their mission to reduce competition and restrict fresh ideas by ‘narrowing the field’ months before the Iowa caucuses or the first in the nation New Hampshire primary.”
The governor, who launched his campaign in June, campaigned as a candidate who would focus on issues of economy, energy and national security. He said that Republican presidential candidates needed to focus less on so-called “culture war” issues, like LGBTQ+ subjects and abortion, and talk about policies that impact daily life for Americans.
When Burgum entered the race, there were 12 candidates running for the Republican nomination. As he leaves, six remain: former President Donald Trump, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson.
Though his campaign was not able to gain the traction needed to make the RNC debate stage, Burgum said his candidacy “shifted the conversation” on America’s place in the global economy.
“Now just six months after our campaign launch, we’ve elevated the importance of an intelligent energy policy that grows jobs and our economy, reduces inflation, is good for the environment and – unlike Joe Biden’s fantasy green energy plan – stops enabling and empowering our adversaries, specifically China, Russia, Iran, Venezuela and North Korea,” he said.
Burgum has served as North Dakota governor since 2016, having grown to prominence after selling his company, Great Plains Software, to Microsoft for $1.1 billion in 2001.
While some other candidates have endorsed other presidential candidates on exiting the race, Burgum has not yet offered his support to any other 2024 campaign. He thanked the people he met on the campaign trail and his backers for their support.
“While this primary process has shaken my trust in many media organizations and political party institutions, it has only strengthened my trust in America,” Burgum said. “Our nation doesn’t need to be perfect to be exceptional. In community after community along this journey, we witnessed the best that America has to offer.”
Iowa Capital Dispatch is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Iowa Capital Dispatch maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Kathie Obradovich for questions: firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Iowa Capital Dispatch on Facebook and Twitter.