Brad Boivin announced Monday he is withdrawing from the Republican primary in Wisconsin’s 1st Congressional District and endorsing Bryan Steil.
The announcement came in an email. It leaves five candidates in the primary: Paul Nehlen, Nick Polce, Jeremy Ryan, Kevin Steen and Steil.
Boivin’s name remains on the primary ballot, however.
The winner will face the winner of the Democratic primary and one independent candidate in the November elections.
The winner in November replaces Rep. Paul Ryan, who is not running after nearly 20 years in office.
Boivin said in the announcement that “given the current state of the race, and in the spirit of good stewardship, I have decided to withdraw my candidacy.”
Boivin, of Delafield, is a clinical psychologist and a Janesville native.
“I decided to step down because I quite simply could not compete with the support and donations that come with an endorsement from the speaker of the House,” Boivin told The Gazette.
“After hundreds of phone calls to donors, and with most conversations going something like, ‘I will be supporting whoever Paul endorses,’ I had to be realistic about the possibility of staying competitive moving forward,” Boivin said. “The reality is, you need a lot of money to win an election, and my campaign, unfortunately, fell short.”
Boivin said Steil “is the one remaining candidate best suited to represent the people of the district, and I will do what I can to contribute to the strength and viability of his campaign and to help build a Red Wall against the much-talked-about Blue Wave this November.”
Steil issued his own statement, saying: “Brad Boivin is a champion on addressing the opioid addiction epidemic. Dr. Boivin worked with state lawmakers on a new law to increase access to addiction treatment. His campaign for Congress continued to bring this issue to the forefront. In Congress, I will fight the opioid epidemic that is affecting so many families in Wisconsin. I’m glad to have Dr. Boivin’s endorsement and support.”
Boivin thanked supporters and said he will “continue to advocate for the issues I believe in and will continue to work with state and federal representatives and agencies to inform sound public policy.”