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Kip Smith calls campaign laws restrictive as he drops from Senate race


RHINELANDER, WI (WSAU) - The Rhinelander man who ran for the open Wisconsin U.S. Senate seat found out what many candidates find: it takes money, and lots of it, to run a campaign.

Physical Therapist Kip Smith withdrew his bid for the Republican nomination saying indebtedness the race was causing was putting his family in danger.

Smith was asked if his inability to sustain the race proves a political unknown has no chance in the current system. Smith said laws preventing him from speaking or being endorsed by non-profits hurt his efforts.

He didn't rule out a run for other public office. He was one of seven Republicans seeking the nomination to fill the open Senate seat being vacated by Herb Kohl.

Smith’s departure leaves 4 Republicans in the race – former Governor Tommy Thompson, ex-Congressman Mark Neumann, state Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald, and hedge fund manager Eric Hovde.

They’ll square off in a primary August 14th, and the winner will face Democrat Tammy Baldwin in November for the Senate seat to be given up by Kohl, who’s retiring after 24 years in office.