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Kevin Nicholson today announced he is suspending his guv campaign, saying he doesn’t want to go negative against his rivals to win the Republican nomination.

In a statement this afternoon, Nicholson said he assessed the state of the primary race over the past week and came to the conclusion “the only path forward for our campaign is attacking the other candidates in the race on the airwaves and running a very negative campaign.”

Nicholson was a distant third in the GOP guv primary field in the most recent Marquette University Law School Poll. Twenty-seven percent of Republicans who planned to vote in the GOP primary backed construction exec Tim Michels, while 26 percent supported former Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch.

Nicholson was at 10 percent.

“While our team has the capability to do that, that is not something I want to do – nor do I believe that it would be good for the party to do so,” Nicholson said of going negative. “This election is too important for our state and our movement.”

Nicholson, who lost a race for the GOP U.S. Senate nomination in 2018, has struggled to gain traction since Michels joined the field. They have similar profiles as veterans with business backgrounds. Each has also sought to run as an outsider.

Nicholson’s decision comes five weeks out from the primary. Though he is suspending his campaign, he will still appear on the Aug. 9 ballot.

Nicholson said he doesn’t plan to endorse anyone ahead of the GOP primary.

See Nicholson’s release here.

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