Today, Republican Presidential Candidate Fred Thompson announced that he was leaving the presidential race.

According to CNN, in an e-mailed statement, Thompson said, “Today I have withdrawn my candidacy for President of the United States. I hope that my country and my party have benefited from our having made this effort. Jeri and I will always be grateful for the encouragement and friendship of so many wonderful people.”

Thompson, the former senator from Tennessee and an actor, best known for his role in television’s Law & Order, entered the race late—by campaign standards. After much speculation, Thompson announced his candidacy on Jay Leno on September 4, 2007.

Despite the general excitement surrounding the announcement of his candidacy, Thompson finished in third place in Iowa and sixth place in New Hampshire. In Nevada he place fifth and in Michigan he again placed fifth. He campaigned harder in South Carolina but only managed to capture third place with 16 percent of the vote. Compared to McCain who won with 33 percent in South Carolina and Huckabee who walked away with a respectable 30 percent, Thompson’s showing in that state did not even earn the candidate a single delegate for the national convention.

Speculation is that Thompson will likely endorse McCain but, according to CNN, Thompson has not contacted any of the campaigns about making an endorsement.

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