After suffering a heart attack just weeks ahead of the California recall election, former Rep. Doug Ose has ended his gubernatorial campaign, Politico reported on Tuesday.
Ose, who served multiple terms in Congress representing the Sacramento area dropped out a few hours hours before he was set to appear on a debate stage with three other Republican candidates on Tuesday evening.
He also left the race just after elections officials mailed out ballots to all active, registered voters ahead of the September 14 vote.
"While I’m told I should expect a full recovery, additional procedures and potentially surgery are required, and it has become clear that I must now focus my attention on rehabilitation and healing," Ose said in a statement. "Sometimes you have to do things that you don’t want to do. It is what is: my campaign for governor is over."
Ose joined the race in mid-March, before the campaign to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom officially qualified for the ballot, the Los Angeles Times reported.
He had focused his campaign on conservative appeals to reduce crime and combat homelessness, according to Politico. Although he had some name recognition due to his years as a representative in Congress, Ose had not succeeded in breaking away from the pack of established Republican candidates in either fundraising or poll numbers.
The 66-year-old said he suffered the heart attack on Sunday, the Los Angeles Times reported. Following his announcement, well wishes from across the political spectrum were posted on social media.
In his statement, Ose said the public should vote yes on the recall’s first question of whether Newsom should be recalled, and “put an end to the current reign of corruption and hypocrisy.”
Ose has not yet endorsed another candidate in the race. His name will remain on ballots, which have already been printed and mailed to voters.
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