Race to Qualify: Lesser-Known GOP Candidates Scramble for Debate Spot

With the first Republican presidential nomination debate approaching, several lesser-known Republican candidates are racing against time to secure a place on the stage. The debate, which will be hosted by Fox News, is scheduled for Wednesday, August 23, in Milwaukee. For candidates like Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, being able to participate in the debate is crucial.

Currently, eight candidates have already met the strict polling and donor requirements set by the Republican National Committee (RNC) to qualify for the initial debate. These candidates include former President Donald Trump, former Vice President Mike Pence, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina, former Ambassador Nikki Haley, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum, and biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy.

However, there are still contenders striving to meet these criteria before the approaching deadline. Former CIA spy and Representative Will Hurd from Texas, former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, Michigan businessman Perry Johnson, and former talk radio host Larry Elder are all working hard to secure their spot on the stage.

Recently, Suarez and Johnson have announced that they have satisfied the necessary polling and donor requirements. Hutchinson, on the other hand, stated that he has met both thresholds in an interview, but official confirmation from the RNC is still pending.

These candidates have until 9 p.m. ET on Monday, just 48 hours before the debate, to meet the criteria, sign the pledge, and secure their place on the stage.

Despite his lack of national recognition, Suarez sees the debate as a crucial opportunity to introduce himself to the nation. Hurd also emphasizes the significance of the event as a platform to make his presence known.

However, Hurd has made it clear that he will not sign the loyalty pledge due to his opposition to Trump. He emphasized that if Trump does not commit to the pledge, it would impact his decision to participate in the debate.

As these candidates strive to qualify for the initial debate, it is evident that the event holds significant implications for their campaigns. With each contender competing for attention and momentum, the first Republican debate becomes a crucial moment in the early stages of the 2024 presidential race.

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