Campbell Expected to Withdraw From His U.S. House Race

Tom Campbell makes a point during his speech for the Republican congressional endorsement at Saturday's state Republican convention in Grand Forks Saturday at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks. Photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald

This weekend, after the U.S. House endorsement of the NDGOP state convention to former party chair Kelly Armstrong by a wide margin, state Senator Tom Campbell announced that he would continue on to seek the nomination on the June primary ballot.

But when I recorded Campbell making that announcement, he sure didn’t sound very enthusiastic about it. Judge for yourselves:


It’s not hard to imagine why the man would feel some trepidation. According to his most recent disclosures to the FEC he’s mostly been self-funding his campaign at a 3:1 ratio, and was unlikely to see an influx of donor cash after losing the convention endorsement to Armstrong.

I can now report that Campbell is expected to withdraw his candidacy for the U.S. House. He filed the requisite signatures to put himself on the primary ballot on time yesterday, which was the deadline, but as of late Tuesday he had reversed that decision and decided not to carry on.

I first heard rumblings that there was “movement” in this direction, and that Campbell was receiving advice from Governor Doug Burgum and others to withdraw, on Tuesday afternoon.

The campaign is expected to make the announcement that Campbell is withdrawing his candidacy, and endorsing Armstrong, very soon according to those I’ve spoken to who are close to the matter.

Campbell’s exit doesn’t leave Armstrong without challengers – Marine veteran Tiffany Abentroth and Minot resident Paul Schaffner also filed for the primary – but with Campbell out of the race Armstrong’s victory in June is pretty much assured. Meaning he can focus his attention on Democratic challenger Mac Schneider.

Armstrong will join me on my radio show tomorrow at 1pm central.

UPDATE:

UPDATE: It’s official:


One thing to keep in mind is that Campbell didn’t file to be on the primary ballot for his state Senate seat in District 19. So his announcement today means he’s losing not just his House bid but his seat in the Legislature too.

UPDATE: Campbell’s name may still appear on the ballot, depending on the outcome of this review by the AG’s office:


Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and the host of the Rob (Re)Port on Fargo-based WDAY AM970 from noon-2pm weekdays.

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