Former Texas congressman Will Hurd, a critic of Donald Trump, has ended his presidential bid and endorsed Nikki Haley as the Republican candidate.
His brief campaign was largely built on criticising the former president who continues to be the party’s frontrunner.
Writing on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, he said: “While I appreciate all the time and energy our supporters have given, it is important to recognise the realities of the political landscape and the need to consolidate our party around one person to defeat both Donald Trump and President Biden.
He said Ms Haley, a former US ambassador to the United Nations under Mr Trump and governor of South Carolina, “has shown a willingness to articulate a different vision for the country than Donald Trump and has an unmatched grasp on the complexities of our foreign policy.”
A clandestine CIA officer who worked in Pakistan, Mr Hurd served three terms in the House until January 2021 and was the chamber’s only Black Republican during his final two years in office.
The 46-year-old has long been a fierce Trump antagonist, even encouraging the then-Republican presidential nominee to leave the 2016 race when the Access Hollywood tape in which Trump brags about sexually assaulting women was made public in the final weeks before the election.
His few memorable moments as a White House candidate came when he was heckled by Republican crowds after repeating assertions that Mr Trump would lose the general election to President Joe Biden.
“Donald Trump is running to stay out of prison,” Hurd declared at a July GOP dinner in Iowa. When sustained booing followed, he responded: “Listen, I know the truth is hard.”