Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff on Wednesday dropped out of his campaign for U.S. Senate, saying he needed to focus on looking after his daughter's health concerns.
"This announcement comes with sorrow because I want to serve my country and I do believe both political parties have put this nation in grave danger by spending so foolishly," he said in a statement. "I have chosen to take pause because my daughter's health is very fragile. She is struggling with emotional issues and has recently been placed in a treatment center.
Although technically Shurtleff said he was "suspending" his campaign -- meaning he could resume it later -- he made it clear during an interview on KSL's Doug Wright show that he had no plans to return to the race.
Shurtleff said her recovery depends on support from the family over the next several months. He said that since he entered the race in May, her mental health had deteriorated and doctors have told her that it her recovery will require numerous counseling sessions.
"I am not willing to lose my daughter, so I am suspending my campaign to take care of her and my family," he said.
The attorney general had been the leading challenger to Sen. Bob Bennett, assailing the three-term incumbent from the right for his vote for the first round of bank bailouts and his sponsorship of a health reform bill that Shurtleff assailed as a big government solution.
I'll write more on what this means for the Senate campaign a little later today.