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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 StabenowElection Countdown: Dems outraise GOP in final stretch | 2018 midterms already most expensive in history | What to watch in second Cruz-O'Rourke debate | Trump raises 0M for reelection | Why Dems fear Avenatti's approach Republican Senate candidate apologizes after swastika spotted in campaign ad Poll: Dem Stabenow has 9-point lead over Republican James in Michigan Senate race 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.

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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 TrumpTrump to fundraise for 3 Republicans running for open seats: report Trump to nominate former Monsanto exec to top Interior position White House aides hadn’t heard of Trump's new tax cut: report MORE won over Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonHillicon Valley: Bolton tells Russians 2016 meddling had little effect | Facebook eyes major cyber firm | Saudi site gets hacked | Softbank in spotlight over Saudi money | YouTube fights EU 'meme ban' proposal Dems lower expectations for 'blue wave' Election Countdown: Takeaways from heated Florida governor's debate | DNC chief pushes back on 'blue wave' talk | Manchin faces progressive backlash | Trump heads to Houston rally | Obama in Las Vegas | Signs of huge midterm turnout 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.