by Jim Nintzel
The rumors are true: Republican Brian Miller dropped out of the Congressional District 8 race tonight and endorsed fellow Republican Jonathan Paton.
"I simply do not have the financial resources to continue," said Miller at a meet-and-greet at Skybox Bar and Restaurant, 5605 E. River Road.
Miller, who thanked a roomful of enthusiastic supporters, says that he believes that Paton would have a much better shot at unseat Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in November than the other Republican in the race, Jesse Kelly.
Paton congratulated his fellow Republican on a race well run and thanked him for his support.
Paton told Miller's supporters that he wouldn't take their support for granted.
"I do not assume you are going to support me," said Paton, who will now face just Kelly and Jay Quick, a little-known Republican who has done little campaigning. "I have to earn your vote. I need your support. This district needs you. This country needs you."
Miller is the second candidate to drop out of the race. Last month, Andy Goss quit and endorsed Kelly. Both men will still appear on the ballot.
Kelly responded to Miller's decision in an email.
“I wish Brian and his family all the best," he said. "It was an honor to be on the campaign trail with him.”
But he added that he did not think that Miller's departure would be a game-changer.
“Jonathan Paton is still a big spending career politician/lobbyist so the dynamics of the primary do not change,” Kelly said.
A recent poll by the Conservatives for Congress Committee showed that Miller had the support of about 5 percent of the CD8 voters. Kelly had the support of 36 percent of the Republicans, while Paton had the support of 17 percent. Roughly 39 percent of voters still had not made up theirs minds.
Details on the poll here.