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Democrat Dickerson drops out of U.S. Senate race

January 20, 2016

Political newcomer John Dickerson announced Wednesday he has suspended his U.S. Senate campaign because of fundraising challenges.

The former Indianapolis not-for-profit leader—whose group The Arc of Indiana advocated for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities—had been seeking the Democratic nomination to replace Republican U.S. Sen. Dan Coats, who is retiring.

"Unfortunately, despite the hard work of my team and our supporters, we have not broken through with our fundraising efforts,” Dickerson said in a statement. "As we all know, it is essential in any campaign to raise money. So, rather than continue to press on, asking our friends to do even more, I have decided to face reality.”

Dickerson struggled to raise as much money as his Democratic opponent Baron Hill, a former U.S. representative. Dickerson raised $33,833 from the time he announced his candidacy in mid-August to the end of September, according to the Federal Election Commission. Hill, who announced he was running last April, raised $420,052 for his campaign through the end of the same reporting period.

If Hill wins the primary, he'll face a tough match with Republicans, who have three of their own candidates seeking Coats’ seat: U.S. Reps. Todd Young and Marlin Stutzman as well as Eric Holcomb, a former Gov. Mitch Daniels’ aide.

Dickerson, who worked at The Arc from 1983 until stepping down last year to explore the U.S. Senate run, threw his support behind Hill. He also said he would work to help elect Democratic gubernatorial candidate John Gregg.

"These last nine months have been remarkable, getting to travel the state and meet so many amazing Hoosiers,” Dickerson said. "We have a tremendous opportunity to give these people something better. I will still strive to do that, but I will do so without seeking public office."

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