Michigan Republicans lose big name in bid to oust Stabenow from Senate
Former Michigan Supreme Court Justice Bob Young is out of the race to replace U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., in this year's election, costing the Republicans their best known name in the present field.
Young announced his decision to suspend his campaign Wednesday morning on the Frank Beckmann Show on WJR-AM (760), saying he still thought he was the "principled conservative" to beat but feeling he didn't have to financial support to continue.
"After assessing the campaign to determine if we had enough (support) to move forward, I don’t see in this contested primary enough financial support to get me where I need to be," he said.
He added that while he considers himself the presumptive frontrunner and has attracted small donors, "I didn’t have apparently enough appeal to the major donors out there who may be waiting to see who emerges."
He also said that a crowded primary -- with four people currently vying for the seat -- could deny him or some other Republican nominee the "acceleration" needed by summer to win in November. The primary is set for Aug. 7.
Young, who is in private law practice now, made the announcement just three days following the end of the fourth quarter fundraising period for 2017, the results of which will not be made public until the middle of the month.
State Republican Party Chairman Ron Weiser released a statement on Wednesday morning regarding Young's withdrawal from the Senate race.
In the statement, Weiser thanked Young for his "service to our state" and said that despite his not running for office himself that "Bob has assured me that he will be actively involved in the 2018 elections."
"He is a principled conservative, our party is lucky to have him, and I look forward to working with him," said Weiser.
A e-mail and call to people involved in Young's campaign for more details were not immediately returned to the Free Press and neither his campaign website, Twitter feed or Facebook page indicated that he was dropping out of the race before the announcement on Beckmann's show.
The loss of Young means the Republicans go into the race without a high-profile candidate at present to challenge Stabenow, who is running for her fourth term. Other potential candidates — including musician Kid Rock a.k.a. Robert Ritchie and U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph — have declined to run.
Businessman John James, businessman Sandy Pensler and historic preservationist Bob Carr are among those running for the Republican nomination for Senate.
Contact Todd Spangler at 703-854-8947 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @tsspangler.