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Olson announces withdrawal from gubernatorial race

BY DANIEL SEIDL | DECEMBER 18, 2013 5:00 AM

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Rep. Tyler Olson, D-Cedar Rapids, announced Tuesday he was dropping out of the gubernatorial race.

“While focused on supporting my children through the transition in my personal life, it is clear they need my full attention,” he said. “It is time to end my campaign for governor.”

The former head of Iowa Democratic Party had announced earlier this month he would scale back his campaign as he worked through divorce proceedings with his wife.

Olson’s departure from the race leaves Sen. Jack Hatch, D-Des Moines, as one of the candidates for the Iowa Democratic party’s nomination. Hatch said in a statement he is thankful for Olson’s involvement in the race, and it helped him as well.

“I know many Democratic activists were drawn to his message and organization — his appeal was substantial,” he said. “He has made me a better candidate for governor, and I am grateful for that.”

Johnson County Democrats head Mike Carberry said Olson’s decision will not hurt the Democratic Party’s chances in the race, and it was probably the right choice.

“The Democratic Party is much bigger than one person,” he said. “I believe there [are] at least two very good candidates left in the race [Jack Hatch and Bob Krause]. I think Tyler has probably done the right thing for himself and for his family.”

Johnson County Republicans head William Keetle said the withdrawal from the race will probably not have a major effect on the Republican Party, either.

“We have our candidate, Gov. Branstad, who has done a wonderful job,” he said. “Whoever the Democrats run doesn’t really affect me much.”

Krause, a former legislator, and Paul Dahl of Webster City are also running for the Democratic nomination. Gov. Terry Branstad has yet to officially declare his candidacy for re-election.


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