And then there were sixteen.
Yesterday, former Texas governor Rick Perry announced he was withdrawing from the 2016 presidential race, becoming the first to leave the competition.
"We have a tremendous field [of candidates], probably the greatest group of men and women," he said at the Eagle Forum in Saint Louis on Friday. "I step aside knowing our party is in good hands."
In his second bid for the presidency, Mr. Perry was unable to overcome monetary issues. His withdrawal is "likely to have little effect on the overall race," noted the Washington Post
Perry had proven unable to move past the single digits in national polls or distinguish himself in the huge Republican field, dominated by media mogul Donald Trump.
"He had already stopped paying staff and was uncertain whether he would even have the money to pay the state filing fees required in the coming months to be on the ballot next year," reported the New York Times.
The announcement comes just three months after Perry entered the race.
Despite his two unsuccessful presidential bids, Perry is well-regarded in Texas, where he still stands as the longest-serving governor.
During his 14-year tenure, the state experienced exceptional job growth, which contributed to his being dubbed the fourth-most important Republican in Texas history by a party official and "the most powerful elected official in Texas history" by the Houston Chronicle.
But despite his state-level success, Perry never won broad national support. In his bid for the 2012 nomination, Perry faltered in forums, unable to keep stride.
This time around, he hoped his policy-centered campaign would help him stand out, but was overshadowed by "a new generation of conservatives, including the junior senator from Texas, Ted Cruz,” wrote the New York Times.
"He found that he could not overcome the impression he made in the 2012 contest, when a series of poor debate performances combined with physical ailments owing to back surgery caused his candidacy to crater in a matter of months," wrote the Washington Post.
Though Perry hasn’t made any official comments, it doesn’t appear that he will make another effort in the field of politics. He hinted at retirement in his speech on Friday.
"We have a house in the country. We have two beautiful children, two absolutely adorable, beautiful, smart granddaughters, four dogs, and the absolute best sunset you have ever seen from the back porch of that house."
"I give you this news with no regrets," he said.