- Associated Press - Monday, September 28, 2015

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley announced Monday that he won’t seek the Republican endorsement to be North Dakota’s next governor.

The announcement by Wrigley, a former U.S. attorney and state Republican Party director, comes almost a month after he disclosed an extramarital affair that he said had ended.

“While Kathleen and I have been heartened by the many expressions and promises of support for a 2016 campaign for governor, we have concluded that the onset of a campaign is not consistent with the current needs of our family,” Wrigley said in a statement. “Those personal considerations are foremost in our lives, and we have made this decision together.”

Before admitting to the affair, Wrigley had been among the top hopefuls to succeed Dalrymple, who announced in August that he wouldn’t seek a second full term.

Wrigley, 49, was a prosecutor for five years in the Philadelphia district attorney’s office before he returned to North Dakota in 1998 and became director of the state’s Republican Party in April 1999.

Wrigley finished eight years as North Dakota’s U.S. attorney in August 2009, and served as vice president at Noridian Administrative Services LLC, of Fargo, which administers Medicare claims in a number of states. Dalrymple, who was lieutenant governor under John Hoeven, picked Wrigley to fill his position after Hoeven won a U.S. Senate seat, and turned the governorship over to Dalrymple in 2010. Dalrymple and Wrigley were elected to their first four-year terms in 2012.

North Dakota Republicans and Democrats will endorse their favored candidates for governor, U.S. Senate and House, and other statewide offices at their state party conventions in March and early April. Endorsements guarantee a spot on the ballot for each party’s June primary election, as well as official backing against any challengers.

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