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Ex-US Rep. Doug Ose ends campaign for California governor

August 17, 2021 GMT
FILE - In this Aug. 4, 2021, file photo, Republican candidate for Governor Doug Ose speaks during a debate at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library in Yorba Linda, Calif. Former Republican congressman Doug Ose is ending his campaign for California governor after suffering a heart attack. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)
FILE - In this Aug. 4, 2021, file photo, Republican candidate for Governor Doug Ose speaks during a debate at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library in Yorba Linda, Calif. Former Republican congressman Doug Ose is ending his campaign for California governor after suffering a heart attack. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)
FILE - In this Aug. 4, 2021, file photo, Republican candidate for Governor Doug Ose speaks during a debate at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library in Yorba Linda, Calif. Former Republican congressman Doug Ose is ending his campaign for California governor after suffering a heart attack. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Former Republican Congressman Doug Ose ended his campaign for California governor Tuesday after disclosing he suffered a heart attack last weekend.

The 66-year-old businessman and farmer exits less than a month before the Sept. 14 recall election that could remove Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom from office. Ose was one of 24 Republicans on the ballot, and among 46 candidates overall.

Ose said in a statement that he expects a full recovery but decided to end his campaign to focus on his health. He said he’s been told by doctors to expect additional medical procedures.

“It has become clear that I must now focus my attention on rehabilitation and healing. Sometimes you have to do things that you don’t want to do,” Ose said in explaining his decision to pull out.

Ose was an early entrant into the contest, pairing a businessman’s acumen with experience on Capitol Hill. He served in Congress from 1999 to January 2005.

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Ose said he was at home Sunday night when he began feeling unwell and was taken by ambulance to the hospital, where he learned he had suffered a heart attack.

He said he remains committed to the belief that new leadership is needed in Sacramento, and urged voters to support Newsom’s recall. He thanked his supporters and added, “Since God gave me another day, I look forward to resuming the fight for the state that I call home.”

Republican rival Kevin Kiley tweeted that Ose’s candidacy “did a great deal to advance the recall movement.” Kiley, a state assemblyman, appeared most likely to benefit politically from Ose’s departure, since they are both from the Sacramento area.

Ose had faced the challenge of quickly increasing his name recognition across California in a field that included better-known candidates, including conservative talk radio host Larry Elder, former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and former Olympian and reality TV personality Caitlyn Jenner.

Another Republican in the race, businessman John Cox, tweeted that Ose’s “commitment to this recall and serving our country in Congress should be recognized by all.”

Ose, a political moderate, briefly ran for governor in 2018 before dropping out of the race, citing lack of funding.