UPDATE: Ted Cruz backs out of Saturday’s candidate forum in Birmingham

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – One of two candidates scheduled to attend a GOP presidential candidate forum at Samford University on Saturday has bailed out.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz has withdrawn, according to Al.com.  Florida Sen. Marco Rubio is now the only candidate confirmed to attend.  Yellowhammer News, who is hosting the forum, said the event will go on.

The event at Samford University’s Wright Center begins at 3 p.m.  It’s free, but tickets are required to enter. It’s our understanding they sold out quickly.

Sen. Rubio is scheduled to attend a public rally in Huntsville shortly after the Birmingham event ends.

All remaining Republican presidential candidates were invited to participate.

“We are excited to have Senators Cruz and Rubio back in Alabama, and we want to welcome them to our great state once again! I am thrilled with how the SEC Primary has developed and what it means for our people to have personal interaction with these candidates,” said Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill. “With the Alabama primary being a week away, it is a very exciting time for our people to have the opportunity to speak with presidential candidates. Thanks to the assistance and full support of the Alabama Legislature, one of the most significant things we have done in the Secretary of State’s Office is change the primary date to March 1. Since the March primary legislation passed, two Democratic candidates and eight of the top Republican candidates have made campaign stops in Alabama, which is unheard of for our state.  As Secretary of State, I will continue to position Alabama and the South as a place where Presidential candidates are willing to make an effort to visit and meet our remarkable people.”

The Wright Center at Samford University is located at 800 Lakeshore Drive, Birmingham, AL 35229.

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