Dan Flood, a former Newport planning commissioner who had announced he would seek the GOP endorsement to oppose Rep. Betty McCollum in the 4th District Congressional race this fall, has ended his campaign, he confirmed Monday.

Flood, who had not sought public office before he announced his House run, said he is stepping aside to avoid a protracted primary competition with St. Paul Republican Anthony Hernandez, who is also seeking to run against McCollum, a St. Paul Democrat.

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"We could've battled out through endorsement but he had a better show of support," Flood said Monday. "Really it comes down to letting the party focus on one good candidate."

Flood had been mentioned by local party leaders as a possible state Senate or House candidate following the announcement from Rep. John Kriesel, R-Cottage Grove, that he would not seek a second term in November.

But Flood said he won't seek the party's nomination for either race, choosing to focus instead on local issues.

"I don't feel that right now is the right time" for a legislative run, he said. "I'm going to stay active on a local level [and] get more name recognition amongst the party."