On Friday night, the eve of the convention of Republican delegates to nominate a candidate for the State Senate seat in the 36th district vacated by Democrat Alex Kasser, State Rep Harry (R-151) Arora announced he had withdrawn from the running.
Ryan Fazio and Leora Levy remain as candidates the delegates will choose from.
Arora’s staff shared a statement as follows:
I write this email to inform you that despite our best efforts, I have been unable to garner majority support of the 31 delegates to obtain an endorsement. As a result, I have decided to withdraw my candidacy for the 36th district senate seat race.
The conversations with the 31 delegates were difficult. My objective was to convince the delegates that my legislative experience, demonstrated leadership record and electability made me the best candidate in this race. However, it was frustrating to hear that these qualifications did not matter. Most of the delegates were making their choice based on loyalties and personal relationships. This was extremely upsetting to me because I strongly believe in meritocracy – always selecting the best candidate possible for every position.
It is very important that we win this seat. All hard data at this point indicates that the delegates are taking a big gamble here by not supporting the most electable candidate. I strongly express my disagreement with the decision. Should we lose this seat, the delegates should be held accountable.
While this senate seat is no longer a possibility, this short campaign was very insightful. I received 1100 endorsements from you. Nearly 200 members of our community emailed delegates on my behalf. I received so many emails and messages of encouragement and support. More than a few times I could feel my eyes moisten as I read your emails. The past 18 months, serving the public, has been greatest experience of my life. I know that I have the broad popular support in our towns to serve and to lead. I will continue to do so as the state representative for the 151st district. My faith and optimism inform me that when one door closes, another one will open.