The state House campaign of DFL District 4B candidate Carl Samuelson of Pequot Lakes has ended, marking the second time in less than three months a DFLer has abandoned a campaign in that district.
The 36-year-old management consultant issued a terse news release last weekend.
"It is with deep regret and sadness that I must suspend my campaigning at this time. Unforeseen personal circumstances necessitate the need to focus my time and energy elsewhere," he said. "I want to thank all of the people who have supported my candidacy for their generosity and commitment."
Carl Samuelson cited personal reasons for ending his state House campaign.
Although Samuelson (no relation to District 12B DFL candidate Don Samuelson) described his campaign as suspended, DFL Senate District 4 Chair Michael Meuers and Crow Wing County Chair Steve Barrows said the campaign would not resume.
"We're looking at it as a permanent thing," Barrows said. "When you get people to donate to one campaign, then a second one ... it would be really difficult to come back a third time and ask again. I knew there was some potential problems, probably a week and a half ago. Then Carl (Samuelson) sat down with some of the folks in the Cass County group and opted to make this decision."
Meuers said the Carl Samuelson campaign was over but noted it was too late to remove his name from the ballot. He described the likelihood of a successful DFL write-in candidate as very remote.
"It's not good PR (public relations) for the party and it's not good PR for the (other DFL) candidates," he said.
In an e-mail response to a reporter Monday, Samuelson said the suspension of his campaign came up unexpectedly.
"I had not expected to curtail my devotion to the campaign, but I am faced with a family health issue (not me, but a relative) as well as an employment situation. The nature of these issues makes my schedule uncertain and at this time I don't expect to be able to spend any more time campaigning. It is unfortunate that I am presented with these circumstances, but I have to do what's in the best interest of my family and career.
"Should anything change over the next few weeks I will certainly issue a press release to update the media."
In a subsequent e-mail response he stated that for all intents and purposes his campaign is done.
William Weis, District 4B's first endorsed candidate and Howes' opponent two years ago, dropped out of the race in June. He cited personal and professional reasons. Weis lost to Howes by a 58-42 percent margin in 2002.
"I just hope Howes takes a vacation instead of getting involved in any of the campaigns," Meuers said.
Howes said he will continue to talk to groups throughout the district and possibly will appear at candidate forums.
"His (Samuelson's) name will still be on the ballot," Howes said Monday. "We can't just go away. I still have to present my view and not do anything stupid."
District 4B includes the northern third of Crow Wing County, the southern two-thirds of Cass County and eastern third of Hubbard County.
MIKE O'ROURKE can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5860.
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