A major contender for Missouri Secretary of State has dropped out of the race.

Caleb Rowden announced in a social media post today that he won’t be seeking the Republican nomination, saying his decision not to run is the right one for him and his family. Rowden is in his final year in the Missouri Senate and holds that chamber’s highest post as President Pro-tem.

In a statement posted to X, formerly known as Twitter, Rowden suggested a recent unwillingness to build consensus on issues among Republicans played a big role in his decision to withdraw from the Secretary of State’s race.

“Politics and public life look and feel a little different than they did even 12 years ago when I was first elected (to public office). While there have always been deep political and philosophical disagreements about how to get to a desired outcome, the desired outcome and the facts used to make decisions used to be shared values. More and more, the latter no longer seems to be the case,” Rowden said. “Consensus-building was once a trait that was admired and rewarded. That no longer seems to be the case.”

That leaves six major party candidates running for Missouri Secretary of State: Republicans Denny Hoskins, Adam Schwadron, Shane Schoeller, and Valentina Gomez, and Democrats Monique Williams and Barbara Phifer.

Hoskins is a state senator from Warrensburg who’s a member of the far-right Missouri Freedom Caucus. The caucus has often criticized Rowden, accusing him of not being conservative enough.

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