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Fong Suspends Campaign

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And then there were five. Republican gubernatorial candidate Christian Fong is now “former” candidate, or so it appears. Fong’s campaign sent out a release that he is suspending his campaign. I haven’t talked to him yet, so I don’t know much more than what’s in this news release.

There has been growing belief among Republican insiders that former Governor Terry Branstad’s entrance into the race has suck the attention and money away from the other candidates and that we would soon see a few candidates drop out. Rod Roberts, Jerry Behn, Chris Rants, Bob Vander Plaats and Branstad remain. Who will be next to exit?

Here’s the release from Fong’s camp:

(Cedar Rapids, IA) Christian Fong, Republican gubernatorial candidate announced that effective today he will suspend his campaign for Governor.

“Today, I announce the suspension of my campaign. From this time forward, we will not be actively campaigning for the Republican nomination for Governor. While today marks a change of direction for our campaign and for myself personally, today is not an end to my passion to see the Iowa Dream restored,” said Fong.

“Over the coming months, I intend to be actively involved in the process even if it’s not as a formal candidate for Governor. Iowa is faced with historic challenges and opportunities. The decision voters make in 2010 will greatly shape the future of our state. I personally want to ensure we continue to have a lively discussion about reforming our income tax code, reversing population and job losses in Iowa and addressing the “Brain Drain.” Electing a Republican nominee who is committed to addressing these issues with substantive plans will lead to success, both next November against Governor Culver, and through the next four years.”

“To my supporters and those that have generously supported my campaign financially, I give my sincere thanks. Your support and passion for our state deepened my conviction that this campaign reflected not only our core Iowa values, but our bright future as well. Our vision was clear, but the financial hurdles too great. Yet it is the responsibility of each generation to build on the blessings of liberty in Iowa, and so I will continue to stand with you for the future of our great state,” concluded Fong.

Christian Fong graduated from Underwood High School in Southwest Iowa at the age of 16 and then attended Creighton University, graduating at age 19. After college, he and his wife, Jenelle, located in Cedar Rapids and Christian started work at AEGON. Fong put his career on hold to attend Dartmouth, earning his MBA. He and his family returned to Cedar Rapids, where they reside today and attend River of Life Ministries church. When the floods of 2008 hit Cedar Rapids, Fong founded and still serves today as the CEO of Corridor Recovery, a non-profit flood relief organization that coordinated recovery efforts. The Fongs have three children.