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Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld ends long-shot primary challenge to Trump

Weld was the last of three major GOP primary challengers to exit the race.
Bill Weld
Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld.Julius Constantine Motal / AP file

Former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld on Wednesday became the last major Republican primary challenger to President Donald Trump to exit the race, a day after Trump became the party's presumptive nominee.

"I hereby announce that I am suspending my candidacy for president of the United States, effective immediately," Weld said in a statement. "I am immensely grateful to all the patriotic women and men who have stood with me during the past eleven months in our effort to bring better government to Washington, D.C."

"Two years ago I became concerned enough about the future of this country to begin exploring the possibility of running for president," he continued. "It is a job I feel certain I have the experience and vision to do."

Weld won one delegate in the Republican primary, according to the NBC News projection. NBC News projected that Trump clinched the nomination following contests in Florida, Arizona and Illinois on Tuesday.

Weld's exit follows the departures of former Reps. Joe Walsh, R-Ill., and Mark Sanford, R-S.C.

In 2016, Weld served as vice president on the Libertarian Party's ticket, which was led by former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson.

"While I am suspending my candidacy, I want to be clear that I am not suspending my commitment to our nation and to the democratic institutions that set us apart," Weld said in his Wednesday statement.