Citing lagging contributions and uncertainty over Clean Elections funding, state Sen. Al Melvin, R-Tucson, withdrew from the Arizona gubernatorial race on Monday.
Melvin said his campaign was well behind in collecting the 4,500, $5 contributions needed to qualify for campaign financing and that it was doubtful the financing could be achieved in time for the start of early balloting.
Melvin said he filed the necessary documents after the Arizona Secretary of State's Office told him he had to decide by Monday whether to stay in the race because some Arizona counties had earlier deadlines to withdraw than Maricopa County's June 27 deadline.
"This was a difficult decision but one that I am at peace with," Melvin said in a news release announcing his withdrawal.
"It was difficult because I believe so passionately about the principles we were campaigning for and because, as other candidates can attest to, you feel a tremendous responsibility to not let down your supporters and all those who have contributed time and treasure to the effort," Melvin said.
"At the same time, I am at peace with the decision because in spite of our efforts we were not going to be able to win the race, and no one who believes in our shared conservative values wants to see conservatives split the vote and allow a liberal to claim our party's nomination," Melvin said.
"Our cause is more important than any one person," he said.
Melvin was elected to the state Senate in 2008.
Copyright 2014 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.