Arizona House Speaker David Gowan is suspending his campaign for the State’s first congressional district. In a statement, the Southern Arizona Republican says, after prayer and family discussions, he concluded stepping aside was the best thing to do. Gowan says, while the campaign’s

grassroots efforts were having a positive effect on his numbers, the improvement was not coming in fast enough to win.

No longer a C-D one candidate, Gowan’s throwing his support behind friend Gary Kiehne. In the statement, Gowan calls Kiehne a true conservative who can coalesce enough votes to win the general election and keep the seat out of the hands of Republican rival, Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu, someone he says has too much baggage to survive a Democratic challenge. As Gowan put it, “ this race is not about me, and we can’t save the country if he don’t win.”

You may recall Gowan got unfavorable press for using state vehicles to campaign. And he also imposed a reporter ban on the House floor earlier this year. That lasted only briefly with Gowan letting up after getting pressure from media attorneys.

–Barbara Villa