Former GOP Assemblyman David Hadley confirmed that he has ended his campaign for governor, two weeks after declaring his candidacy.

Hadley wrote to supporters Wednesday that “what I have learned since I announced my candidacy (July 5) has led me to conclude that I cannot responsibly ask donors, endorsers, volunteers, supporters or my family to invest in this campaign right now.”

“So much of our effort would need to be dedicated to unifying the center/right and the Republican Party, we would not have the time and resources to make the case we need to make to all California voters,” Hadley wrote in the letter, which was obtained by City News Service.

“Under California’s “top two” primary system, numerous Republican candidates spending too much time fighting over Republican-registered voters greatly increases the likelihood that we have a top-two general election between two Democrats.

Whatever the strengths of those two individuals might be, California urgently needs a real debate about our state’s future and not a replay of the 2016 US Senate race between two Democrats. I am not prepared to increase the likelihood of that outcome by pressing on in a crowded field. As a result, I am suspending my campaign, effective immediately.”

Hadley said he will return campaign contributions “as soon as possible,” will not deposit any more checks and will return them promptly.

Hadley’s suspension of his campaign leaves two Republicans in the race to succeed Gov. Jerry Brown, who can’t run for re-election because of term limits, Rancho Santa Fe venture capitalist John Cox and Assemblyman Travis Allen, R-Huntington Beach.

Four Democrats are in the race, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, state Treasurer John Chiang and former State Superintendent of Public Instruction Delaine Eastin.

Under California law, candidates from all parties will appear on the June ballot, with the top two, regardless of party, advancing to the November general election.

Hadley requested the remaining candidates to “focus your campaigns on the opportunities and the challenges facing California,” avoid “trolling Washington DC, building your social media profile with clickbait, energizing your base of supporters with the latest outrage or faux outrage from Washington” and “run a race with the plausible goal of winning, or get out of the race.”

“This 2018 governor’s race is too important to have a meaningful debate derailed by selfish politicians who cannot win, but can rob Californians of a real debate in the general election,” Hadley wrote.

“Most of our state’s challenges stem from a combination of special interest dominance and self-interested politicians advancing their careers instead of the common good of the state. In the election format that the people have adopted in California, running for office is sometimes an act of selfishness, not servant leadership.”

—City News Service

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