Rep. Duncan Hunter drops out of GOP presidential race

Rep. Duncan Hunter is dropping out of the race for the Republican presidential nomination after a poor showing in the Nevada caucuses, his campaign said Saturday.

"We thought we'd do much better in Nevada, but the numbers weren't there," said campaign spokesman Bob Bevill. "We were not able to get any traction."

In recent weeks Hunter, a San Diego-area congressman, was forced
at every stop to dispel rumors that the campaign was already dead and was unable to talk about the issues, Bevill said. The best showing of Hunter's campaign was in Wyoming's Jan. 5 caucuses, in which he won 8 percent of the vote, finishing third behind Mitt Romney and Fred Thompson.

"The media has a 'vote someone off the island' mentality and Duncan Hunter was a casualty of that," said Bevill.

Hunter, a Vietnam veteran, was elected to Congress in 1980 as part of President Reagan's sweep into power. He appealed to some conservatives by focusing on military issues and border security.

Hunter planned to officially withdraw from the race in a speech to supporters and campaign workers Saturday night in San Diego.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

AP-NY-01-19-08 2030EST


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