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GOP's Nguyen drops secretary of state run

  • Associated Press
  • March 10, 2014 - 2:15 PM

ST. PAUL, Minn. — The only Republican formally running for Minnesota Secretary of State abruptly halted his campaign on Monday.

In a post on his Facebook page, Dennis Nguyen, 44, cited family and business concerns as the reasons he chose to drop out.

"My four young children require my active involvement in their lives," wrote Nguyen, who chairs two Minneapolis-based private-equity firms. He also said an upswing in global equity markets requires him to focus more on his professional life, including a need for travel.

Nguyen's withdrawal comes just a few days after his campaign manager, Sen. Branden Petersen of Andover, confirmed to the alternative news weekly City Pages that Nguyen had visited strip clubs.

Petersen declined to address the topic Monday when asked by The Associated Press.

Nguyen's absence leaves no Republican formally seeking the office. Petersen said he thought Ted Daley, a former state senator from Eagan reported to be considering the race, would be a good candidate.

Daley didn't immediately return a call to his home Monday.

State GOP Chairman Keith Downey said Republicans have a strong field of potential candidates for the job.

Two Democratic lawmakers are running: Rep Steve Simon, DFL-Hopkins, and Rep. Debra Hilstrom, DFL-Brooklyn Center.

The development is "interesting and noteworthy, but it doesn't change what we're doing," Simon said.

Democrat Mark Ritchie is not seeking a third term as secretary of state.

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