Conservative grassroots activist Andy Ogles announced he is “ending his campaign for the U.S. Senate effective immediately,” in a statement released by his campaign Wednesday morning.
“I entered this race to insure that Tennessee would have conservative representation that would reflect their values and commitment to ‘draining the swamp’ that Tennesseans expect and deserve. With Senator Corker making the decision to exit the Senate at the conclusion of his term rather than being terminated by the voters, the political landscape changed dramatically,” the former head of the Tennessee chapter of Americans for Prosperity said in the statement, which continued:
“With each passing day, Senator Corker has underlined why Tennessee voters were prepared to fire him. As others hesitated, I was willing to accept the challenge and believed that once his vulnerabilities could be exposed voters would give him a pink slip. He clearly believed the same thing,” Ogles added. “Senator Corker has shown more passion attacking our President the past eleven months than he expressed in criticizing President Barack Obama during his entire 8 years in the White House. Thanks to Senators like Bob Corker, we have failed to secure our borders, still haven’t repealed and replaced Obamacare and are struggling to develop a plan to cut taxes — despite the best efforts of President Trump and Republican majorities in both houses. Sadly he would rather fight with the President than fight for us.”
“With two Republican candidates for the nomination, who have millions of dollars in their Congressional accounts or personal wealth at their disposal, I do not see a path to raise the millions of dollars needed to run a successful race this election cycle. Like millions of Tennesseans, I will be watching and listening carefully to what the Republican candidates say and do before I choose who to support,” said Ogles. “In the meantime, I encourage all the candidates, at every level in Tennessee, to focus on the issues that matter to conservative voters, speaking clearly and honestly about where they stand and how they plan to fight for us if we trust them with our votes.”
Ogles’ withdrawal leaves two candidates vying for the 2018 Republican nomination to represent Tennessee in the U.S. Senate.
Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN-07) is considered the frontrunner in the race. Former Rep. Stephen Fincher (R-TN-08) is also an announced candidate.