REDDING, Conn. -- State Rep. John Shaban announced he has ended his campaign for the Republican nomination to challenge Jim Himes for his seat in Congress.
Shaban said he has decided to endorse former state Sen. Dan Debicella in his bid for the Republican nomination. Debicella, from Shelton, is looking to challenge Himes, a Democrat from Greenwich who is running for his fourth term representing the Fourth Congressional District.
Shaban said he will instead seek re-election to his seat in the State House representing the 135th District of Easton, Redding and Weston.
In a letter on his campaign website addressed to friends, supporters, colleagues, Shaban thanks everyone for their support.
"Over the last two weeks we have been monitoring funds, delegates and the general traction of our campaign," said Shaban, who lives in Redding. "While we have sufficient delegate support to primary, the momentum is moving away from us based on a number of factors -- some under our control, some not.
"Thus, after lengthy conversations with my family and my campaign team -- and for the sake of party unity -- Thursday night I announced my decision to withdraw from the race, and to run for re-election as state representative for the 135th Assembly District in Easton, Redding, Weston."
Shaban went on to discuss the issues important to him.
"During the campaign, I believe we elevated the discussion on issues important to voters -- fiscal sanity, limited and local government, and promoting prosperity through private sector growth," he said. "We also highlighted our need as a party to communicate better with unaffiliated voters. ... We are the party of opportunity, and we need to get that message out."
The important task for Republicans is to beat Himes in the fall election, Shaban said.
"Please know that quitting is against my nature, but so, too, is the pursuit of a primary that could erode our ability to defeat Jim Himes. Together we can and will win back our seat in Congress."
Shaban is endorsing Debicella, who the only Republican candidate now in the race.
"I am thus endorsing Dan Debicella and ask you to support him as we try to retire Jim Himes," Shaban said. "While our styles may differ, the substance of our beliefs do not. Unified, we can take back our Congressional seat."
The Republican state convention will be held on May 16.