Sen. Al Melvin withdrew from the Republican primary for governor on Monday, citing the slow pace of his collection of contributions to qualify for Clean Elections funding.
Concerned that he could not mount a successful campaign without receiving funding before early ballots are mailed to voters, Melvin said he didn’t want a failed campaign for governor to negatively influence another conservative candidates’ chances in the primary.
“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,” Melvin said in a statement. “Our cause is more important than any one person.”
Melvin, a SaddleBrooke Republican, said Friday that he would decide on June 26 whether he was “on pace” to collect the 4,500 $5 qualifying contributions necessary to get Clean Elections funding. Clean Elections provides about $753,000 to gubernatorial candidates in the primary election.
But with some counties certifying ballots early this week, Melvin said he filed paperwork with the Secretary of State’s office to withdraw on Monday and keep his name off the ballot.
Early ballots go out on July 31.