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Candidate leaves campaign after strip club reports


ST. PAUL — A Republican Minnesota secretary of state candidate dropped out of the race Monday after blogs reported he visited strip clubs.

Dennis Nguyen said his decision to quit the campaign was based on family, business and civic obligations.

“My four young children require my active involvement in their lives,” Nguyen said in a statement Monday. “Additionally, global equity markets are on the upswing and I need to focus on bringing a number of New Asia Partners’ investments to the market in 2014.”

New Asia is one of his financial companies.

Nguyen did not mention comments by the City Pages newspaper and others that he was a strip club customer.

City Pages reported last week that Nguyen Campaign Manager Sen. Brenden Peterson, R-Andover, said: “If the story is that Dennis has been to a strip club, then yeah, he’s been to a strip club, but he doesn’t frequent them and it’s not something he does all the time.”

Nguyen is divorced.

He was running to replace Democrat Mark Ritchie as secretary of state. Ritchie is not seeking a third term.

Former state Sen. Ted Daley, R-Eagan, is expected to become a candidate for the office. No other Republicans have announced a campaign.

Democratic state Reps. Debra Hilstrom of Brooklyn Center and Steve Simon of Hopkins are running for their party’s nomination.

Nguyen said that he is involved in a variety of organizations, including the University of California-Irvine Foundation Board of Trustees and Minnesota Historical Society.

“With my many ongoing obligations, both business and civic, it would be difficult, if not impossible, for me to make a full time commitment to a statewide campaign at this time,” Nguyen said.

Don Davis
Don Davis has been the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau chief since 2001, covering state government and politics for two dozen newspapers in the state. Don also blogs at Capital Chatter on Areavoices.