There are now six Republicans vying to be Arizona's next governor, as Senator Al Melvin says he's dropping out.
Melvin released a statement saying he wasn't going to be able to collect the 4,500 contributions of $5 needed to qualify for Clean Elections funding, a sum of $750,000.
-Andrew Thomas Comes Up Short for Clean Elections Money
Disbarred and disgraced former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas is facing a similar dilemma, but he hasn't signaled his intentions to quit.
"I had planned on having more time to decide my campaign's future, but I was alerted by the Secretary of State's office that while Maricopa County's deadline to withdraw was June 27th, the remaining counties had their own early deadline and a decision had to be made by today," Melvin said in a statement. "So after prayerful consideration with my wife and closest advisors and supporters, I filed the necessary documents with the Secretary of State's office to formally withdraw from the race."
Melvin's from southern Arizona, so the deadline hurts Melvin more than it does Thomas, who somehow still has a few supporters in Maricopa County forking over the $5.
Melvin was fairly far-right compared to the class of Republican candidates for governor, as he fought hard in favor of SB 1062, and has made efforts to take back land in Arizona that's owned by the federal government.
The remaining candidates so far are Thomas, Secretary of State Ken Bennett, Treasurer Doug Ducey, former California Congressman Frank Riggs, former Mesa Mayor Scott Smith, and former GoDaddy executive Christine Jones.
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Here's what else Melvin had to say about quitting the race:
This was a difficult decision but one that I am at peace with. It was difficult because I believe so passionately about the principles we were campaigning for and because, as other candidates can attest to, you feel a tremendous responsibility to not let down your supporters and all those who have contributed time and treasure to the effort. At the same time, I am at peace with the decision because in spite of our efforts we were not going to be able to win the race, and no one who believes in our shared conservative values wants to see conservatives split the vote and allow a liberal to claim our party's nomination.
Our cause is more important than any one person. For that reason it is time to end this particular campaign. But this is not the end of our fight for secure borders, high Arizona education standards instead of Common Core, tax relief, Texas-style Tort Reform, Universal School Vouchers, an energy policy that addresses Arizona's long-term needs and economic health, and more. I look forward to seeing everyone on the campaign trail soon, and for years to come."
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