Gary Fields/Associated Press
Race has emerged as a central issue in the 2024 presidential contest as the GOP's primary field features five candidates of color. That's the GOP's most racially diverse presidential class ever. Miami Mayor Francis Suarez joined the race Thursday. Suarez is of Cuban descent and highlights his status as the only Hispanic in the contest. In most cases, the diverse Republican candidates downplay the significance of their racial heritage. They also oppose policies around policing, voting rights and education designed to benefit disadvantaged communities and combat structural racism. The GOP's increasingly diverse leadership is backed by evolving politics on issues such as immigration and suggests the party might have an opportunity to widen its appeal.