Kip Smith to drop out of race for U.S. Senate

RHINELANDER -- Kip Smith, a candidate for Wisconsin's U.S. Senate seat will formally announce his exit from the race Tuesday morning, May 1st.

The Rhinelander physical therapist said in a statement that his decision is based mostly on the difficulty in raising money and cannot continue the campaign and risk the financial future of his family.

With Smith out of the race, that leaves Eric Hovde, Tommy Thompson, Jeff Fitzgerald and Mark Neumann running on the Republican side, and Tammy Baldwin as the lone Democrat.

Smith's statement is as follows:

"This past weekend, after much prayer and discernment, I have decided to end my quest to be Wisconsin's representative to the United States Senate.  I never saw the office of US Senator as a career goal for myself, but as a position of duty and service to my country.  My wife and I, along with all of our tireless volunteers and supporters, have worked as hard as we could to bring the core issues of this election to the forefront, and we have succeeded.  Our volunteers have all worked tremendously hard against impossible odds to make this campaign one of integrity and honor, and I cannot thank them enough.

My decision is based mostly on the difficulty in raising the funds necessary to continue this mission.  We have brought forth an amazing campaign on a true "shoestring" budget.  I cannot; however, continue this campaign and risk the financial future of my family.  I realize that the time has come for me to leave the race, but I vow to continue fighting for our country in any capacity I can.  I only hope that our next legislators will see the importance of abolishing the current federal regulations prohibiting non-profit organizations from participating in elections.  The abolition of these federal regulations, would level the playing field for all candidates and allow candidates like myself the opportunity to spread our message through many of the charitable, faith-based, and community organizations around the state, with very little money.  In this way, individuals of strong character from any financial background would have the opportunity to speak as our representative.  This is the only way to control the money, the electoral process, and it truly was the intent of our founding fathers. 

I am very thankful to have met the good men running for the US Senate, and look forward to hearing them continue to debate the crucial issues we face.  For me, I will do my part to continue the fight for our nation, and will call on every citizen to do the same.  God Bless You All, and Thank You. 

Sincerely,  Kip Smith"

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