Campbell says he may abandon race

Jun 26, 2008

Palm Beach Post--June 25, 2008

Palm Beach Post Capital Bureau

TALLAHASSEE — Skip Campbell confirmed he is considering dropping out of the race against incumbent Sen. Jeff Atwater, the Palm Beach Gardens Republican who is the incoming Senate president.

"I would be not forthright with if you if I did not tell you that there are considerations as to whether I’m going to stay in the race," Campbell said.

Campbell, a Democrat who formerly served in the Senate, said he will make the decision before July 4, citing "personal reasons" for a possible exit.

"I am not dying," said Campbell, an attorney who lives outside of District 25, which includes parts of northern Broward County and eastern Palm Beach County, but owns a townhouse within it.

News of Campbell’s possible withdrawal alarmed Senate Democrats who were hoping to defeat Atwater. They say recent polls have shown Campbell in the lead in the race despite Campbell trailing Atwater in campaign contributions.

"This was supposed to be the marquee race for us," said incoming Senate Democratic Leader Al Lawson of Tallahassee. Lawson said he gave Campbell until Friday to make up his mind.

Lawson said he will travel to South Florida on Thursday to scout potential replacements for Campbell, who qualified for the race before the Friday deadline, giving party officials the ability to pick a replacement for him on the November ballot.

But that may be hard to accomplish because some prospects who were interested in running have already qualified for other races and cannot switch.

"It puts us in a bad situation," Lawson said.