The Republicans’ leading recruit to challenge Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), has decided not to pursue a Senate bid after he failed to qualify for the ballot in the GOP primary, according to a statement released by his campaign.
Retired Air Force lieutenant colonel Jim Ogonowski came 30 valid signatures short of the 10,000 signatures necessary at the Tuesday deadline to qualify for the September 16 primary ballot. Ogonowski could have mounted a legal challenge or launched a write-in campaign, but opted to pass up the opportunity.
"The buck stops with me and I take that responsibility. There has been and will continue to be a lot of Monday morning quarter-backing and people trying to figure out what happened,” Ogonowski said in a statement. “But, the facts are the facts. For a variety of reasons, we did not meet the signature requirements. And at this time, I have decided not to pursue this endeavor.”
Ogonowski is the brother of the pilot of American Flight 11, the first plane to hit the World Trade Center on Sept. 11. He received much acclaim for running a competitive campaign in last year’s special election against now-Rep. Niki Tsongas (D-Mass.).
Kerry will now be facing little-known Army veteran Jeff Beatty in the general election.