CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) — Former Cranston Mayor Steve Laffey ended his bid for president on Friday after eight months on the campaign trail, and also resigned from the Republican Party, effective immediately.

In a statement, Laffey said he was a faithful Republican most of his life but now believes the party has changed its ideals.

“The Republican Party has become a laughing stock,” he said. “From a celebrity-driven race for the presidency, to disturbing events in the House of Representatives, it has become painfully apparent that the Republican Party no longer exists.”

Laffey apologized to his investors and friends saying, “the poor and middle class will suffer even more due to my failure.”

“As I conclude my campaign and resign from the Republican Party, I hope that someone, somewhere, will pick up the torch and guide our great nation back to its true essence,” he continued.

Laffey served as Cranston mayor from 2003 to 2007. He unsuccessfully ran for U.S. Senate in 2006, losing in a primary against then-Republican incumbent Lincoln Chafee.