Monday, July 9, 2012

Ken Aden dropping out of 3rd District congressional race

Posted By on Mon, Jul 9, 2012 at 1:09 PM

KEN ADEN: Out of race.
  • KEN ADEN: Out of race.
Ken Aden, the longshot Democratic candidate for 3rd District Congress — buffeted recently by reporting on his exaggeration of his Army record — has distributed a news release saying he's dropping out of the race against incumbent Republican Rep. Steve Womack.

Aden, who was a combat veteran of Iraq service with the 82d Airborne, also claimed membership in the Special Forces. Though his military record at one time indicated a Special Forces membership, it was apparently done in error because he didn't complete all the required training.

Aden said he didn't want to harm the Democratic effort and said he wanted to spend more time with family.

Party spokesman Candace Martin said they'd heard from the campaign this morning.

CORRECTION: I said originally that there was still time to choose a new candidate because the ballot has not yet been certified. But this option is open only when a candidate moves out of a district, seeks another office or dies, so the party CANNOT field a candidate to replace Aden. The party said it had a full slate of good candidates otherwise and, despite the recent problems, sent Aden off with kind words for energetically challenging Womack on policy matters.

The Green Party has nominated Rebekah Kennedy to oppose Womack. David Pangrac is the Libertarian candidate.

Womack statement:

I respect Mr. Aden’s decision and am sorry for his misfortune; however out of respect to the candidates representing the Green and Libertarian parties, it doesn’t change a thing insofar as my campaign is concerned. Our message is still about the future of our country and I will continue to represent, to the best of my ability, the Third District with honor and dignity.

The Aden news release follows:

Ken Aden, Democratic Candidate for U.S. Congress from Arkansas' Third Congressional District, on Monday morning announced his intent to withdraw from the race for United States Congress effective at 5 p.m. on Monday, July 9, 2012.

"Mr. Aden's campaign has, via overnight mail, submitted the necessary notification prescribed by the Arkansas Code to withdraw from the race for U.S. Congress. A copy of this notification has been provided to the Democratic Party of Arkansas as well," said Vince Leibowitz, spokesperson for the campaign.

Aden said he was exiting the race in order to spend more time with his family and to help ensure victory for Democrats across the state in November.

"Unfortunately, the ongoing saga related to my military records has created a tremendous distraction for our campaign, and I did not want this to have adverse consequences for Democrats across the district or anywhere else in the state," Aden said.

"Additionally, as most of you know, I recently became a father for the first time, and I will be exiting this race in order to spend more time with my family," he continued.

"I sincerely regret any difficulty that this situation has caused my fellow Democrats, my supporters, and staff. I will continue to remain a loyal Democrat and to my best to help Democrats in win in November," he concluded.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Copy of Mr. Aden's letter to Arkansas Secretary of State notifying the SOS of his withdrawal. A copy of the same has been transmitted to the Democratic Party of Arkansas.

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