Former state Democratic Party Chairman Don Bivens will drop out of the Arizona Senate race, he announced on Wednesday, leaving frontrunning former Surgeon General Richard Carmona with the field to himself.
Bivens entered the race before Carmona last year, but once the former surgeon general jumped in, it was clear that the competition would become one-sided. President Obama himself recruited Carmona to run and his fundraising easily outpaced the money Bivens could bring in.
"The continuing head-to-head competition of our Democratic primary is draining resources that we will need as a Party to win the U.S. Senate race in November," Bivens said in a statement. "While I am confident we would win this primary, the cost and impact on the Party I've spent my life fighting for could diminish our chance to achieve the ultimate goal: winning in November. My overriding commitment has always been to Democratic principles first - the cause of middle-class families. My stepping aside in the Senate race at this point in no way diminishes my family's fight to work for these common goals, now and in the future."
On the Republican side. Rep. Jeff Flake is running against wealthy investor Wil Cardon, who has already begun assailing his record.
Democrats are optimistic about picking up a seat in the Republican-leaning state. Bivens's exit frees up Carmona to focus on the general election while a potentially nasty fight unfolds on the GOP side.