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Hunter leaves GOP presidential field

SAN DIEGO, Jan. 19 (UPI) -- U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., has ended his bid for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination.

Hunter, the ranking Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, announced his decision following a dismal showing in the Nevada caucuses, which had been regarded as his last opportunity to build wide support for his campaign, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

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In a statement, Hunter took responsibility for what he called "the failure of our campaign to gain traction," but he said the campaign had been worth it.

"But we have driven the issues of national security, the border fence, the emergence of China and the need to reverse bad trade policy," said Hunter. "Because of that, this campaign has been very worthwhile."

Hunter decided to quit the campaign after finishing sixth with 2 percent in the Nevada caucuses.

"Nevada probably at this point was one of our strongest hopes," Hunter campaign spokesman Roy Tyler told the Union-Tribune. "We had a lot of support there and it didn't pay off."

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