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Duncan Hunter Leaves GOP Field

Calif. Rep. Duncan Hunter ends his presidential bid after winning 2 percent in the Nevada caucuses. (Getty Images).

Updated 7:24 p.m.
By Michael D. Shear
LAS VEGAS -- California Rep. Duncan Hunter dropped out of the Republican presidential race after placing near the bottom of the pack in Nevada's voting and even before the polls closed in South Carolina's primary.

In a statement, Hunter said he recognized that his campaign had not gained "traction" and he said he will return to the House of Representatives to do legislative work on defense issues, which have been his specialty there.

"The failure of our campaign to gain traction is mine and mine alone," he said. "But we have driven the issues of national security, the border fence, the emergence of China and the need to reverse bad trade policy. Because of that, this campaign has been very worthwhile, and for the Hunter family, a lot of fun."

Hunter, who represented the conservative San Diego area, had never raised much money and captured almost no attention from the media or the public. His only moments in the spotlight were the many Republican debates, but even there, he was outshined by Rep. Ron Paul and the front-runners in the GOP contest.

Hunter tried to appeal to conservative voters with an aggressive message on illegal immigration and was steadfastly pro-military during his year-long run for the White House. His departure leaves six people in the race.

By Web Politics Editor  |  January 19, 2008; 6:59 PM ET
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Next: Clinton Addresses Supporters in Las Vegas

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