Former Michigan Supreme Court Justice Bob Young announced his decision to drop out of the Michigan Senate contest Wednesday, clearing the field for first-time congressional hopeful John James.
Young cited the wellbeing of the Republican party in justifying his decision to remove himself from contention.
“The only way to successfully retire Debbie Stabenow is through the early selection of a consensus conservative candidate who will remain true to conservative values and the rule of law, and who can focus the Party’s resources on winning in November,” Young said in a Wednesday morning statement to local Detroit radio station WJR.
“I want to thank the donors, volunteers and party leaders who have backed my campaign, and I urge you to join me in continuing the important work of retiring Debbie Stabenow in 2018.”
Young, who raised $156,000 to businessman James’ $309,150 as of Sept. 30, also acknowledged fundraising difficulties as a factor in his decision. Both candidates’ fundraising accomplishments pail in comparison to incumbent Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow, who has raised over $7 million.
Wealthy Michigan financier Sandy Pensler’s November entrance into the race likely compounded Young’s fundraising issues, as he vowed to spend millions of his personal wealth on the race. Pensler has come under fire from conservatives the pro-choice views he espoused during a 1992 House run. He has since disavowed his formerly held views on abortion and explained that having kids caused him to reconsider.
James, a black West Point graduate and combat veteran, is running on a fiscally conservative platform buoyed by repeated vows to endorse President Donald Trump’s agenda.
James’ campaign manager celebrated Young’s judicial record and emphasized his focus on the upcoming general election in a statement provided to The Daily Caller News Foundation.
“John has the utmost respect and admiration for Justice Young, who served as a champion of conservative values on the Michigan Supreme Court,” Tori Sachs, campaign manager for the John James for Senate campaign, told The Daily Caller News Foundation.
“We are laser focused on our conservative outsider message and it’s resonating across the state and country. Both Fox News and Politico are reporting that Michigan will be one of the most competitive races in country with John James and Sen. Stabenow.”
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