GOP secretary of state candidate drops out after strip club rumors

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Republican Dennis Nguyen withdrew Monday from the race for Minnesota secretary of state, citing commitments to his businesses and family, MinnPost reports. But another reason could be that some Republican lawmakers who had supported his candidacy are backing off after published reports that Nguyen has visited strip clubs.

"There were a few people who withdrew their support. Not many," said Sen. Branden Petersen, R-Andover, who has been acting as spokesman for the Nguyen campaign, the Star Tribune reports.

“Dennis Nguyen has been at a strip club, yes, in his life,” Peterson said, according to MinnPost. He said Nguyen had participated in the activity, “like tens of millions of other Americans.”

Nguyen's announcement was posted on his Facebook page, and mentioned only his family and business concerns.

"With my many ongoing obligations, both business and civic, it would be difficult, if not impossible, for me to make a full time commitment to a statewide campaign at this time," Nguyen said in the statement.

Nguyen is divorced and is the father of four children.

No other Republicans have formally entered the race for secretary of state, but former state Sen. Ted Daley is considering it, MinnPost reports. Daley, an Iraq and Gulf war veteran, served two years in the state Senate, representing Eagan. He was defeated in 2012 by DFLer Jim Carlson. Daley is the treasurer for Republican Scott Honour’s campaign for governor.

Current DFL Secretary of State Mark Ritchie announced last year that he would not seek re-election to a third term. Two DFLers, state Reps. Steve Simon of Hopkins and Debra Hilstrom of Brooklyn Center, are running for the seat, according to the Star Tribune.

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