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Chris Widener drops out of GOP Senate race

Post by Peter Callaghan / The News Tribune on April 23, 2010 at 4:50 pm |
April 23, 2010 5:06 pm

Chris Widener, just two days after attending a Gig Harbor forum for Republican U.S. Senate candidates, sent a letter to supporters saying he is getting out of the race.

“Throughout the past four months, I’ve encouraged my fellow candidates to engage in a positive, healthy debate and, as they say, ‘let the best man win.’ I’m happy this has been the case,” he wrote.

“But I have also urged them to put the party and our cause first, and if it became obvious that one or two individuals began emerging as clear front-runners, the others should consider stepping aside.

“Today, I am taking my own advice.”

Widener is a personal development expert, author and public speaker who helped publish Dino Rossi’s biography before the 2008 governor’s race. He is a neighbor of Rossi’s in Sammamish and Rossi said they talk several times a week.

So, is his withdrawal an indication that Rossi is going to run? Okay, maybe not but it could be.

Widener’s letter follows

Dear Friends,

During the past four months, I’ve been blessed to have the opportunity to be a candidate for the United States Senate and to communicate my vision for a country with lower taxes, a significantly smaller debt-load and a much more efficient government.

I’ve greatly enjoyed meeting and talking with thousands of Washington voters from all over our great state. Our campaign has employed New Media technology that has allowed us to reach out to and communicate with thousands more voters over the Internet, on the blogs and over Facebook and Twitter.

In all of this my single, overarching rationale for participating in this race was the defeat of Patty Murray.

Our message is resonating. Patty Murray is in trouble. Voters are waking up to the fact that after 18 years all we’ve gained is a poor economy and trillions of dollars in national debt that will be dumped into the laps of our children and grandchildren.

I’ve enjoyed getting to know my fellow Senate candidates and have become friends with them. They bring unique ideas, fresh perspectives, common sense and commitment to fiscal responsibility so sorely lacking in Congress. They would make great United States Senators.

Throughout the past four months, I’ve encouraged my fellow candidates to engage in a positive, healthy debate and, as they say, “let the best man win.” I’m happy this has been the case.

But I have also urged them to put the party and our cause first, and if it became obvious that one or two individuals began emerging as clear front-runners, the others should consider stepping aside.

Today, I am taking my own advice.

I am very confident that one or two of the candidates not only have the right ideas but also the resources necessary to defeat Senator Murray in November. It is time to focus more of our precious financial resources on fewer candidates so they can begin to reach out to more voters.

For that reason, I am, as of today, suspending my campaign activities.

I want to personally thank so many of you who have donated your time or hard-earned financial resources to our campaign. It has made a tremendous difference.

I want to give special thanks to State Representatives Glenn Anderson and Jay Rodne, Pierce County Councilman Dick Muri and King County Council Members Reagan Dunn and Kathy Lambert for endorsing my campaign early on. You have no idea how much that means to me.

But more than anything, I need to thank my wife Lisa and my four children for putting up with all the travel, the speeches and everything else that comes with running for office. I am grateful that my family so fervently shares my commitment to making this nation a better place. We hope that this state and the Republican Party have benefited from our having made this effort.

Moving forward, while I will not longer be a candidate, I will continue doing everything I can as an individual to finish what I started: defeating Patty Murray in November. I will continue to work as hard as I have in the past to see Republicans elected to office.

Lisa and I urge everyone who supported our efforts over the past four months to stay involved, finish the job, and help get the eventual Republican candidate elected to the United States Senate, and then wish Patty Murray bon voyage as she rides off into retirement!

Thank you for your support.

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