With at least a few of his previous supporters withdrawing their support, Republican Secretary of State candidate Dennis Nguyen announced Monday that he was dropping out of the race.

"With my many ongoing obligations, both business and civic, it would be difficult, if not impossible, for me to make a full time commitment to a statewide campaign at this time," Nguyen said in a statement.

Nguyen, who had captured early support from Republican lawmakers, had seen some of his backing dissipate last week after revelations that he visited strip clubs became public.

"There were a few people who withdrew their support. Not many," said Sen. Branden Petersen, R-Andover, who has been acting as spokesman for the Nguyen campaign.

Peterson confirmed that Nguyen, who is divorced, had been to a strip club.

Nguyen had been the only Republican who had filed to run for Secretary of State. Current Secretary Mark Ritchie announced last year that he would not run for a third term. Two Democratic state representatives -- Steve Simon, of Hopkins, and Debra Hilstrom, of Brooklyn Center, are vying for the seat.

Here is Nguyen's withdrawal statement from Monday morning, as posted to his Facebook page and confirmed by Petersen:

Photo: Dennis Nguyen, campaign photo

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