Prominent Michigan Republican drops out of Senate primary

Prominent Michigan Republican drops out of Senate primary
© Greg Nash

Former Michigan Supreme Court Justice Bob Young is dropping out of the Republican Senate primary in Michigan, blaming the difficulty of winning the nomination to take on Democratic Sen. Debbie StabenowDeborah (Debbie) Ann StabenowVulnerable Senate Dems have big cash advantages Senators push HHS to negotiate lower prices on opioid overdose reversal drug Senators press administration on mental health parity MORE (Mich.).

“I am on your show to announce that, after a lot of discussion with family, friends, and supporters, that I am suspending my campaign to defeat Debbie Stabenow," Young said Wednesday on the Michigan-based Frank Beckmann Show on WJR News-Talk 760 AM.


Young had been the most high-profile Republican name in the candidate pool before stepping aside.

Three other candidates are now vying to take on Stabenow in Michigan, a state that President TrumpDonald John TrumpRand's reversal advances Pompeo New allegations could threaten Trump VA pick: reports President Trump puts on the pageantry for Macron’s visit MORE won over Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonOvernight Defense: Pompeo clears Senate panel, on track for confirmation | Retired officers oppose Haspel for CIA director | Iran, Syria on agenda for Macron visit George H.W. Bush in intensive care GOP chairmen say they have deal with Justice on documents MORE by a razor-thin margin during the 2016 presidential election.  

Yet despite Trump's win, Stabenow is favored to win reelection this year, with The Cook Political Report rating the Michigan Senate race a likely win for Democrats.

Young said although he was the "front-runner" in the Republican primary, he felt the primary contest against three other candidates would deplete his finances before he could face off against Stabenow. 

"After assessing the campaign and trying to determine whether we had enough momentum to move forward — I don’t see in this contested primary enough financial support to get me to where I need to be," he told the radio show host.

"I think our candidate, in order to be successful in November, has to be the presumptive leader going into June or July. And if we have a war of attrition until August, I don’t think there will be sufficient time to mount the kind of campaign you need to knock off an incumbent — particularly a wily, [special] interest politician like Debbie Stabenow."

“I think having three significant challengers in a contested primary makes it more likely that she will prevail," he said, adding that Stabenow has "nothing to show for her 20 years in Congress."

State Republican Party Chairman Ron Weiser praised Young for "his dedicated service to our state."

“Bob knows Michigan, has been elected 3 times statewide, and will continue to be a tremendous asset to the Party,” Weiser said in a statement.