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Dave Muhlbauer discontinues US Senate campaign following death of nephew

A letter posted to social media by Muhlbauer says the death of his nephew had a "devastating effect" on his family.
Credit: WOI-TV

MANNING, Iowa — The first Democrat to announce a campaign against Republican U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley has dropped out of the race following a death in his family.

Dave Muhlbauer launched his campaign in May, focusing on issues like agriculture and education. On Tuesday, he announced the end of his campaign following the death of his nephew. 

"I first want to thank everyone who has reached out to our family during this time of tragedy and mourning. Your support has meant more than you will ever know," Muhlbauer posted to social media.

Muhlbauer wrote that his nephew died in an accident earlier this year, leaving a "devastating effect" on his family. 

"It's something you can never prepare yourself for and will leave a hole that will never be filled," Muhlbauer's statement says.

The Democrat wrote about the strength of Iowans and how they come together "during times of tragedy and loss." 

RELATED: Rep. Axne announces re-election campaign

"And as they always do, our community came together to help us with the work needed to bring in the harvest this year. Without the love and support of our neighbors I don't know where we would be," he wrote. 

After spending time with close loved ones, Muhlbauer decided that continuing his campaign for senate wouldn't help his family with the grieving process. 

"I deeply appreciate the incredible people I was able to meet over the months I traveled across Iowa. I thank you for your love and prayers and only ask that you hold those you love extra tight as we move into the holiday season and beyond," Muhlbauer wrote. "Our family will always have so much gratitude for the outpouring of love and understanding from all of you." 

Three Democrats are still campaigning for the Senate seat held by Sen. Grassley: Abby Finkenauer, Michael Franken and Dr. Glenn Hurst. Two other Republicans are eyeing the seat: Jim Carlin and Bob Krause.

RELATED: Audit on Gov. Reynolds CARES Act spending, what Biden's infrastructure plan means for Iowa | 'This Week in Iowa'

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