Former HHS secretary and four-term Republican governor of Wisconsin Tommy Thompson has officially dropped his bid for the White House after he finished sixth in a preliminary poll in Iowa.
I have no regrets about running, Thompson said. I felt my record as governor of Wisconsin and as (HHS secretary) gave me the experience I needed to serve as president, but I respect the decision of the voters.
Thompson, a lawyer, who said he plans to return to the private sector, pledged that he would continue to work toward improving healthcare and welfare in America.
Despite overall low poll numbers, Thompson had spent a great deal of his campaign time in Iowa after announcing his bid in April. At the time, he said that he hoped a strong showing in the politically pivotal state would help launch him to the top tier of the crowded GOP field.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney won Saturdays straw poll in Ames, Iowa, garnering 4,516 votes. And former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee placed a surprising second among Republican candidates, getting 2,587 votes. Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback placed third with 2,192 votes.
Three other Republican heavyweights, Rudy Giuliani, Fred Thompson and John McCain, were no-shows for the event.
I have very much enjoyed my years in public service, and I am comforted by the fact that I think I made a difference for people during that time, Thompson said. I hope to continue working to serve others over the next few years. -- by Matthew DoBias
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