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Arizona House Speaker David Gowan drops out of congressional race

PHOENIX — Arizona House Speaker David Gowan announced Thursday that he has suspended his campaign for the Congressional District 1 seat.

Gowan said he would endorse fellow Gary Kiehne in the Republican primary.

He made the announcement and endorsement in Casa Grande. Gowan made campaign-related appearances as recently as Monday and picked up an endorsement from Arizona Rep. Bob Thorpe the same day.

Gowan’s departure from the U.S. Senate race leaves five in the hunt for his party — Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu, former Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett, Wendy Rogers, a retired Air Force pilot and Shawn Redd, a businessman.

In a statement, Gowan said, “Staying in the race, and taking conservative votes away from the rest of the field meant that not only could my campaign result in costing conservatives the nomination, but Republicans the seat in November. I could not allow that to happen.”

U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, a Democrat, represents the district. She is running for the U.S. Senate.

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