An Ohio tea party leader says the movement is working to recruit a new primary challenger to Republican Gov. John Kasich after their first contender backed out of the race late Saturday.
Tom Zawistowski tells The Associated Press that leader and activist Ted Stevenot's withdrawal less than a week after entering the contest was personal.
Zawistowski said tea party supporters still hope to field an alternative to Kasich by the Feb. 5 deadline.
In an emailed statement, Stevenot said he decided not to run - despite "a tremendous outpouring of support and encouragement" - after discussions with family, friends, and advisers.
He called the decision unrelated to reports of financial difficulties by his running mate, Brenda Mack.
Stevenot is past president of the statewide Ohio Liberty Coalition.