State Representative Tyler Olson just announced that because he and Sarah Olson are separating after seven years of marriage, he is “scaling back campaign events for the remainder of the year to focus on my family and helping them through this transition.” He said he and his wife took this step “only after significant discussion and professional support to deal with the issues facing our marriage,” and that he is “deeply committed” to continuing the race for governor after the holiday season.
Many prominent Iowa Democrats, including more than two dozen state legislators, have endorsed Olson for governor, as did the state’s largest labor union. I will update this post as needed with political reaction.
UPDATE: Added Olson’s e-mail about the situation after the jump.
Olson has until March 14, 2014 to decide whether to stay in the race. Democrat Liz Bennett is already running in Iowa House district 65, which Olson is vacating.
State Senator Jack Hatch, another Democratic candidate for governor, said in a statement, “This is a private matter and we should all respect the family’s privacy. These matters are always very hard and unpleasant for everyone involved. I wish Rep. Olson, Sarah, and their family the best as they work through this difficult time. I will not have any further comment.”
State Senators Janet Petersen and Jeff Danielson, who both endorsed Olson earlier this year, told the Des Moines Register that they still support his gubernatorial campaign.
SECOND UPDATE: No surprise, Governor Terry Branstad has no comment about Olson’s family situation.
THIRD UPDATE: In another signal Olson is serious about staying in the governor’s race, on December 4 his campaign urged supporters to help collect signatures for his ballot petitions.