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 Former US Vice President Mike Pence has withdrawn from the presidential election in 2024, stating that "this is not my time."

On Saturday afternoon, he made the news before the Republican Jewish Coalition in Las Vegas.

"We knew this would be a difficult battle, but I have no regrets," he said in a statement.

Mr. Pence is the first prominent Republican contender to withdraw from the race, which is being dominated by former President Donald Trump.

In the surveys, Mr. Pence had been lagging Mr Trump.

Mr Pence's campaign has also incurred enormous debt, with the former vice president finishing September owing $621,000 (£512,038) and having just US$1.2 million (£989,446) in the bank - much less than other Republican contenders.

"I am leaving this campaign, but I will never leave the fight for conservative values," he said in a letter to supporters.

Many Republican voters abandoned him after he publicly disagreed with Mr Trump over the 6 January Capitol riot in 2021, and after he presided over the certification of Joe Biden's 2020 election results in Congress.

Mr Trump chastised Mr Pence for his "courage" in refusing to reverse the Democratic leader's election triumph.

Rioters were heard yelling "hang Mike Pence" as they stormed the corridors of Congress in 2021, and many Trump supporters have seen him as a traitor ever then.

In March, the former Vice President stated that Trump's promotion of the rioters "endangered my family and everyone at the Capitol that day."

Mr. Pence did not support any other Republican contenders for president in his resignation letter.

However, he urged Americans to elect a president who "will 'appeal to the better angels of our nature' and not only lead us to victory but also lead our nation with civility and back to those time-honoured principles that have always made America strong, prosperous and free."