DELAFIELD, Wis. — Republican candidate Kevin Nicholson announced Tuesday he is suspending his campaign for Wisconsin governor.
In a statement, Nicholson said after assessing the state of the primary race, the only path forward for him and his team was to attack other candidates in the race, which is something he doesn't want to do.
"Over the past week, I have assessed the state of the primary race and it has become clear to me and my team the only path forward for our campaign is attacking the other candidates in the race on the airwaves and running a very negative campaign," his statement said in part. "While our team has the capability to do that, that is not something I want to do – nor do I believe that it would be good for the party to do so. This election is too important for our state and our movement."
You can read his full statement below:
"When my family and I started this campaign, we knew it would be an uphill battle. I am not part of the insider political class and am a threat to all they hold dear.
We have had many highs over the last six months, and I am proud of what we have built. I’ve traveled our state and heard from thousands of Wisconsinites who believe our society is off track, who want an outsider as their governor, and not someone from the Madison Machine.
I have been encouraged by our supporters, and the old and new friends that my family and I have met on the trail. I love this state and the people in it and truly believe that – though we face great challenges – our best days lay ahead.
Over the past week, I have assessed the state of the primary race and it has become clear to me and my team the only path forward for our campaign is attacking the other candidates in the race on the airwaves and running a very negative campaign. While our team has the capability to do that, that is not something I want to do – nor do I believe that it would be good for the party to do so. This election is too important for our state and our movement.
So today, I am suspending my campaign for Governor. I want to thank all the thousands of people who have donated, volunteered, and supported my campaign. It has been an honor.
I do not plan to make any endorsements in the race before the primary. I will whole heartily support the nominee on August 10th and will work to get Republicans up and down the ballot elected. Our fight is not over, and I will continue to be engaged on the battlefield to elect conservative outsiders in the state of Wisconsin.”
Republican candidate Tim Michels responded to the news Tuesday, stating he will work hard to earn the support of Nicholson's supporters.
"As I've said repeatedly on the trail, I respect Kevin Nicholson," Michels said in a statement. "I respect his service to our nation as a Marine and his work with No Better Friend Corp. This race was better for him being in it, working as hard as he did, and pushing his outsider message about the need to shake up the Madison machine. I will work hard to earn the support of his supporters, as I continue to grow our coalition. It is imperative we defeat Tony Evers this fall and that's our continued focus."
Republican candidate Rebecca Kleefisch also responded Tuesday.
“I’d like to thank Kevin Nicholson for the hearty debate and competition to make our state and conservative movement better," Kleefisch said in a statement. "Moving forward, I humbly ask Nicholson’s supporters to join our team. I’ve taken on the Madison swamp before and won, and this fall, I will beat Tony Evers.”
This is a developing story and will be updated.