Sam Brownback, the Kansas conservative who struggled to
raise money and gain recognition in the 2008 presidential
campaign, will drop out on Friday, people close to him
Money was a main
reason for his decision, said one person close to
Brownback who requested anonymity because the candidate had
not yet announced his plans. Brownback is expected
announce his withdrawal in Topeka, Kan.
anticipated Brownback will run for Kansas governor in 2010,
when his term -- his second -- expires. He had promised in
his first Senate campaign to serve no more than two
mentioned he is really looking forward to spending more time
in Kansas,'' the person said.
As recently as
last week, Brownback indicated he would keep campaigning
through Iowa's first-in-the-nation presidential caucuses in
January, saying he would exit the race if he finished
worse than fourth there.
fund-raising has sagged. Reports released Monday showed that
of the eight Republican candidates, Brownback was
seventh in fund-raising from July through September
and had a mere $94,000 cash on hand, less than any of
his rivals. Brownback raised nearly $4 million overall and
was eligible for $2 million in federal matching funds.
He spent a good
chunk of his money on the Iowa straw poll, an early test
of strength whose significance diminished after Arizona Sen.
John McCain and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani
decided not to compete. He finished third in the
August contest behind former Massachusetts governor
Mitt Romney and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee.
Brownback was hurt because he supports a path to
citizenship for illegal immigrants, an issue that angers
conservatives who influence voting in Iowa and other
states that are struggling to provide education,
medical care, and other services to an influx of
immigrants in recent years.
People close to
Brownback said it was unlikely he would endorse another
candidate on Friday.
how much weight a Brownback endorsement would carry. While
the anti-abortion senator is a favorite of religious
conservatives, he failed to become their consensus
candidate and ranks low in national polls and state
Still, a nod from
Brownback could bolster the conservative credentials of
a candidate such as McCain or Huckabee, the rivals who
appear most likely to receive his support.
McCain are close Senate comrades and have refrained from
criticizing one another, instead assailing Romney.
While McCain has
a voting record similar to Brownback's on cultural
issues, McCain prompts skepticism on the right flank of the
party because he isn't a high-profile crusader against
abortion rights and gay marriage. Brownback's backing
could signal to Christian conservatives that they can
Spartanburg, S.C., on Thursday, McCain said of Brownback,
''I'll miss him in this debate. He's a voice for family.
He's a voice for the pro-life movement and community
Southern Baptist preacher, is another favorite of religious
conservatives. But like Brownback, he has struggled to rally
that voting bloc around his candidacy. He too could
benefit from Brownback's backing.
campaigning in Rindge, N.H., declined to comment on
Brownback's withdrawal because he hadn't heard it
It's harder to
imagine any other Republican in the field getting a
Brownback nod, although former Tennessee senator Fred
Thompson is a possibility. The Kansas senator has
bitterly criticized Romney, and Giuliani is disliked
by many religious conservatives because of his
abortion-rights and gay-rights positions. (AP)