WASHINGTON – Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) will pull out of the 2008 presidential race on Friday, sources say.
The second-tier candidate running on a social conservative platform had trouble raising funds necessary to keep his campaign going, people close to the Kansas senator told The Associated Press.
"I know Senator Brownback enjoyed campaigning and meeting new people in talking about ideas for the future of America, but I think it came down to money," said one source, who requested to remain anonymous because the senator had not officially announced his plans.
As of Monday, Brownback raised about $926,000 in the third quarter of this year – his lowest quarterly amount since entering the race, according to CNN. In total he raised over $4 million and is eligible for $2 million in federal matching funds. But the senator is said to currently have less than $100,000 in the bank – far less than any of his Republican rivals .
In comparison, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani raised $11 million in the third quarters, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney brought in $10 million, and even Texas Rep. Ron Paul, still unknown to many Americans, announced he raised $5 million in the third quarter to fund his White House bid.
On the other side, the two Democratic frontrunners vastly out-fundraised their Republican counterparts. New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton raised nearly $35 million in three months and Illinois Sen. Barack Obama pulled in $32 million, according to AP.
Besides lack of funds, the Brownback campaign was also plagued by low recognition among the general public.
The Kansas senator was known and supported among social conservatives who shared his pro-life and anti-gay "marriage" stance. But his campaign was weakened when former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee entered the race. Huckabee, an ordained Baptist minister, also ran on a social conservative platform but was said to be more engaging during debates than Brownback.
The former Arkansas governor also came in ahead of Brownback in August at the Iowa Straw Poll. Brownback had taken a gamble and spent much of his money on the straw poll hoping a win would boost his campaign into the national spotlight. However his hope was dashed when he came in third behind Romney and Huckabee, who had spent less than $100,000 but captured second place.
Brownback's campaign reportedly never recovered from the disappointing results at the Iowa straw poll.
He is expected to officially announce his withdrawal in Topeka, Kan., where he had initially announced his presidential run in January.
The Kansas governor is the third Republican candidate to withdraw from the race due to money and attention, following former Govs. Jim Gilmore of Virginia and Tommy Thompson of Wisconsin, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Brownback is widely expected to run for the Kansas governor's office in 2010 after completing his second term in the Senate.