Michigan businessman Perry Johnson suspends presidential campaign ⋆

Republican presidential candidate Perry Johnson announced on Friday he is suspending his campaign.

Johnson, a Michigan businessman and former 2022 GOP gubernatorial candidate, cited not earning a spot at the Republican debate stage in August and “corruption” in the Republican National Convention as his reasons for suspending, but not withdrawing, in a statement posted to X, formerly known as Twitter.

“I must admit, the corruption among leaders at the RNC during this process was appalling. Not only was the debate process set up to keep outsiders off the stage and without a voice,” Perry said. “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the people should decide the next president of the United States, not the head of the RNC and her cronies. … With no opportunity to share my vision on the debate stage, I have decided at this time, suspending my campaign is the right thing to do.”

It’s been eight months since Johnson announced his presidential bid via a Super Bowl ad running in Iowa.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Perry Johnson holds a campaign kick-off event in Lansing on Feb. 23, 2022. (Andrew Roth | )

Johnson spent millions on the race, as well as significant time campaigning in Iowa in 2023, speaking at events hosted by Iowa Republicans and conservative groups. In addition to holding campaign events, he mailed out his book, “Two Cents to Save America,” to many Iowa households.

He polled below 1% in the August Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll. In a talk with Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds at the Iowa State Fair, Johnson said he understood his campaign was a “long-shot,” but said that put him on equal standing with other GOP presidential candidates outside of former President Donald Trump. 

In 2022, Johnson largely self-funded his campaign for Michigan governor, billing himself as a “quality guru.” He was one of five Republican gubernatorial candidates who was kicked off the primary ballot after the Bureau of Elections (BOE) found an “unprecedented” amount of fraudulent petition signatures. 

“I ran for President with the single focus of ensuring that the country my children inherit is just as extraordinary as the America in which I grew up,” Johnson said. “I am 100% committed to helping Republicans win across the country in 2024 and plan to be actively involved in making sure we do just that, especially in my home state of Michigan.” 

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Johnson said in the news release he would retain some staff “in the event the dynamics of the race change.” He has not withdrawn from the race, and will still appear in early state GOP contests, including New Hampshire.

In September, Johnson told NBC News he was considering pivoting and running for the open U.S. Senate seat in Michigan, as U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Lansing) is retiring in 2024.

In his statement Friday, he said that moving forward, he plans to stay involved in helping Republicans win in 2024.

“I am 100% committed to helping Republicans win across the country in 2024 and plan to be actively involved in making sure we do just that, especially in my home state of Michigan,” Johnson said.

Iowa Capital Dispatch reporter Robin Opsahl contributed to this story.

authored by Anna Liz Nichols
First published at https%3A%2F%2Fmichiganadvance.com%2F2023%2F10%2F20%2Fmichigan-businessman-perry-johnson-suspends-presidential-campaign%2F

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