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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — The campaign office at Jeb Bush’s Miami headquarters brought quiet — no volunteers were making calls, no one handing out yard signs and bumper stickers.
The candidate has officially left the presidential race.
“The people of Iowa and New Hampshire and South Carolina have spoken and I really respect their decision. So tonight I am suspending my campaign,” said Jeb Bush at a press conference in front of a crowd of disappointed supporters. “In this campaign I have stood my ground, refusing to bend to the political winds. We put forward detailed, innovative conservative plans to address the amounting challenges that we faced.”
Even leaders in the South Florida community were upset at the news.
“He was ready to lead on day one. We were crestfallen… Carlos Curbelo, Mario Diaz-Balart, Lincoln Diaz-Balart and I were watching the returns come in last night and it was like a body blow every time a precinct would come in,” said Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL 27th District).
But most are nearly ready to throw support to Marco Rubio.
“Marco’s looking very good to us and we’ve all helped Marco throughout his political career,” Ros-Lehtinen continued.
Even voters CBS4’s Natalia Zea spoke with who were not planning to cast a ballot for Jeb had kind words for him.
“He’s a very good character, he’s got the back of his family,” said Miguel Rodriguez, who was passing by.
“I feel very sorry for him. He’s an excellent person but we need a change,” said another.
Of course, not every voter was so gracious.
“Jeb Bush should’ve dropped out two weeks ago. Everything’s fabulous with Donald Trump. I think Bush should step out and move to another country,” said a blunt Trump supporter.
For Floridians who casted their vote early, any vote for Bush will not count. About 10,000 absentee ballots have been casted in Miami-Dade alone.