Minnesota secretary of state candidate Phillip Parrish — who disavowed the Minnesota GOP earlier this month after failing to become its chair — is now leaving the race.

Parrish, a former U.S. naval intelligence officer from Kenyon, Minn., said Friday that he was withdrawing from the race based on the toll his campaign has taken on his family and his differences with the state Republican Party's endorsement process.

"Recently, people I care deeply about helped me to understand that some of my personal aspirations cause significant anxiety and distress," Parrish said in a statement Friday.

Parrish filed in March to challenge Secretary of State Steve Simon as a Republican. After failing to become the Minnesota Republican Party's chair earlier this month, Parrish left the Minnesota GOP but said that he would still run as a Republican.

Parrish previously unsuccessfully ran for the U.S. Senate in 2014 and for governor in 2018. Parrish has said that he does not believe Joe Biden was legitimately elected president, and his public social media pages include repeated election and COVID-19 conspiracy theories and a prediction that "mass civil war will break out before 2022."

His Friday announcement accused GOP operatives and officials of "demanding I change certain narratives or positions under the pretense of their personal calculation of what is more electable." He did not say who pressed him to change his public positions.

Kelly Jahner-Byrne, a 2020 Minnesota House candidate from Woodbury, announced her bid for the GOP endorsement earlier this month and is now the only candidate thus far seeking to challenge Simon.

Stephen Montemayor • 612-673-1755

Twitter: @smontemayor