DELAFILED, Wis. — Kevin Nicholson announced Tuesday he is suspending his campaign for Wisconsin governor.
The Republican is a Marine Corps combat veteran and a self-proclaimed “political outsider.”
He said he decided to withdraw after assessing the primary race. He said he believes the only way to move forward would be to attack other candidates, which is not something he wants to do.
Nicholson, who decided to run for governor after Republican U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson decided to seek a third term, had consistently trailed in the polls behind former Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and construction business co-owner Tim Michels. Donald Trump endorsed Michels.
A Marquette University Law School poll released on June 22 had Nicholson at 10% compared with 27% for Michels and 26% for Kleefisch. State Rep. Timothy Ramthun was at at 3%, with 32% of respondents undecided.
Nicholson ran for U.S. Senate in 2018, losing in the Republican primary.
He said he will not make any endorsements prior to the primary but will support whomever the nominee is Aug. 10. The Republican winner will advance to face Democratic Gov. Tony Evers in a race that’s a national priority for both parties. Whoever wins will be governor during the 2024 presidential race in the state.
Nicholson said he “will work to get Republicans up and down the ballot elected. Our fight is not over and I will continue to be engaged on the battlefield to elect conservative outsiders in the state of Wisconsin.”