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May 2, 2016 7:33 PM

Steinhauser-First on NH1 News: Pam Tucker ends bid for Congress

NH1 Political Director -

CONCORD – There’s new drama in New Hampshire’s 1st Congressional District, which is one of the most closely watched swing districts in the country.

State Rep. Pam Tucker suddenly ended her bid for Congress on Monday.

As first reported by NH1 News, the conservative state lawmaker from Greenland suspended her campaign for the Republican nomination in the state’s 1st CD.

In a statement, Tucker pointed towards family obligations as the reason she was dropping her bid.

“I’m announcing the suspension of my congressional campaign. I am so grateful to the many friends and supporters who have sacrificed so much for this campaign. But with a young family and three daughters, it has become increasingly clear in recent days that now is not the right time for a congressional campaign,” Tucker wrote.

"We must change course in Washington. I am committed to helping a conservative represent the First District. But my first and primary commitment must always be with family,” she added.

Tucker's statement didn't say whether she would run again for her state House seat.

Tucker became the second Republican candidate to drop out of the race to try and unseat incumbent GOP congressman Frank Guinta. In March, Portsmouth businessman and 2014 congressional candidate Dan Innis halted his second bid to try and defeat Guinta.

Bedford businessman and 2010 congressional candidate Rich Ashooh remains the only major challenger against Guinta.

In a statement, Ashooh wrote "I have known Pam as a steadfast conservative voice in New Hampshire State House. I have also known her as a dedicated mother. I fully understand her decision and am confident that her dedication to the betterment of our state will continue. "

Guinta’s trying to bounce back from a major campaign contribution scandal that dominated headlines last spring. The conventional wisdom is that the more primary challengers the better for Guinta, as the opposition would be splintered. So the departure of Innis and now Tucker from the race would appear to favor Ashooh.

Fundraising doesn't seem to be a factor in Tucker's decision to end her campaign for Congress. According to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission, she raised just over $100,000 from her launch in mid-February through the end of March. That's more than the $96,000 Guinta raised during the entire January through March first quarter of fundraising.

And Tucker had around $11,000 more money in the bank that Guinta as of April 1.

Ashooh announced after the end of the first quarter of fundraising, but said he pulled in over $100,000 in the two weeks after his launch.

The battle for the Democratic nomination is also full of drama, as first time candidate Shawn O’Connor has threatened legal action against former U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter. O’Connor, a victim of domestic violence, has claimed that Shea-Porter’s campaign spread rumors that he was a perpetrator of domestic violence. Shea-Porter’s campaign has said O’Connor’s allegations are untrue.

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