State Sen. Janssen Leaving Governor's Race

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OMAHA, Neb. (AP) -- State Sen. Charlie Janssen says he's dropping out of the 2014 governor's race.

The Republican from Fremont said that he decided he couldn't win in such a crowded GOP primary field, saying "I didn't see a clear path to victory."

The 43-year-old entered the race almost a year ago. Five are now vying for the GOP nod, including Omaha businessman Pete Ricketts and State Auditor Mike Foley. Attorney General Jon Bruning said Thursday that he's considering a last-minute run as well.

The filing deadline for the GOP primary is Feb. 18.

Statement from Charlie Janssen:

My Friends,

I entered the race for Governor last February as a dark horse candidate with a lot of ground to cover. So I jumped in my truck and drove more than 40,000 miles around the state to introduce myself to the Nebraskans who’ll decide this election.

A year later, I know I’ve made an impression but, as the song goes, I’ve got a long way to go and a short time to get there.

This will quickly become one of the most expensive Republican Primaries for Governor in our history. Without an established name or a big checkbook, the odds of victory are long.

There’s just too much ground yet to cover, so I’m withdrawing from the race today.

I can’t begin to thank the people who’ve helped me in this campaign. We received donations from more than 600 individuals in Nebraska, and dozens of volunteers gave their time selflessly to this effort.

But while the campaign for Governor may be over, the fight to defend the principles of freedom and liberty continues on. No matter what’s next, I will be a strong and determined voice on the issues that matter to conservatives.

Ellen, the kids, and I are grateful for your support. I am better for having traveled our great state and for the friendships I will hold forever.

We’ll get ‘em next time.

- Senator Charlie Janssen