Carson native Lippold ends bid for US House seat | NevadaAppeal.com

Carson native Lippold ends bid for US House seat

SANDRA CHEREB
Associated Pres

Retired Navy Cmdr. Kirk Lippold ended his bid for Nevada’s 2nd Congressional District seat Thursday and said he won’t consider running next year as an independent.

Lippold, 51, endorsed Republican candidate Mark Amodei.

“I am grateful and deeply moved by the level of support for my candidacy, but considering the unique circumstances of this election and for the good of the Republican Party in Nevada, I feel a sense of duty to step aside at this time,” he said in a statement.

The state GOP central committee last month chose Amodei as their nominee for the Sept. 13 special election to fill the seat vacated when Republican Rep. Dean Heller was appointed to the Senate.

Amodei, a former state senator, will face Democratic state Treasurer Kate Marshall, Tim Fasano with the Independent American Party and independent candidate Helmuth Lehmann. The winner must run again in next year’s regular election cycle to keep the seat.

Lippold was among 30 candidates who initially filed for the special election under rules originally set by Secretary of State Ross Miller, who said the race would be open to anyone.

But the state Republican Party sued, arguing major political parties should choose their nominee since no primary will be held.

The Nevada Supreme Court earlier this month agreed, bumping 14 Republicans – including Lippold – and eight Democrats off the ballot. Two other independents also were disqualified for not gathering the required 100 signatures.

“The decision to withdraw was extremely difficult, as I feel my record of service and my message of strong conservative values and ethics clearly resonated throughout every corner of the district,” Lippold said, adding that he cares “too much about the Republican Party” to consider running as an independent.

He was endorsed by former Rep. Barbara Vucanovich, a Republican who served 14 years in Congress representing the district.

Lippold, who grew up in Carson City, was commander of the USS Cole when the ship was attacked by terrorists in 2000 while in Aden Harbor, Yemen. Seventeen sailors were killed. A Navy investigation concluded Lippold and his crew probably could not have prevented the attack.