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Climate change advocate John Hsu has decided to drop his primary challenge to House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-Long Branch) in New Jersey’s 6th district and says progressives should pick a single challenger to challenge the longtime incumbent next year.
“I’m not going to continue,” said Hsu. “At this point, we have to other people running. I’ve met them. They have good progressive values.”
He said he does not yet have a preference in the race to unseat Pallone, saying that he’s open to supporting Russell Cirincione or Zac Roeill.
Hsu also became concerned that any chance of taking out Pallone in the primary – an uphill fight on a good day – would be unsuccessful if the progressive vote was divided between several candidates.
Progressives, Hsu said, should consider a caucus or mini-convention to pick between Cirincione and Roeill.
Hsu had raised $5,092 for his congressional campaign and had $3,628 remaining in his account. He said he would either return contributions or, in consultation with his donors, contribute the money to other campaigns.
Instead, Hsu says he will spend his time volunteering on a presidential campaign.
“I’ve decided to shift my focus on getting Bernie Sanders elected,” Hsu told the New Jersey Globe.
Cirincione and Roeill are also Sanders supporters.
Hsu, an Edison resident, said he initially decided to run when Pallone declined to support the Green New Deal or to reject fossil fuel-related campaign contributions.
“There’s an urgency that’s needed,” Hsu said. “I felt that Pallone was not meeting that urgency.”