Brownback to Drop Out

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This report via AP:

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican Sam Brownback will drop out of the 2008 presidential campaign on Friday, people close to the Kansas senator said Thursday.

Brownback, a long-shot conservative contender, had trouble raising money to compete in the race. He is expected announce his withdrawal in Topeka, Kan.

He raised a little more than $800,000 in the third quarter of this year, his lowest quarterly amount since entering race. He has brought in more than $4 million overall and is eligible for $2 million in federal matching funds.

“I know Sen. Brownback enjoyed campaigning and meeting new people in talking about ideas for the future of America, but I think it came down to money,” said one person close to Brownback, who requested anonymity because the candidate had not yet announced his plans.

Brownback, who is in his second term, had said in his first Senate campaign he would serve no more than two terms in the Senate. He is widely expected to seek the Kansas governor’s office in 2010.

One question worth asking now is if and when Brownback will endorse someone else. His backing could be a huge get, given the respect and influence he has among the GOP’s very unsettled evangelical base.