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Atkinson suspends gubernatorial campaign

4:10 p.m. update: Republican state Sen. Jason Atkinson suspended his campaign for governor today, saying family health problems need to be addressed before he pursues a possible candidacy.

The Central Point lawmaker, who is still recovering from an accidental shooting in 2008 that makes it difficult for him to walk, wants to attend to serious health concerns in his family, he said in a prepared statement. His wife, Stephanie, was treated for thyroid cancer last year.

Atkinson said he will make an announcement later about whether he will continue to run for governor.

Cheri Adkins, Atkinson's legislative aide who also works on his campaign, said the senator had just informed her of his decision not to run this morning.

In the statement, Atkinson stated, “Stephanie and I have recently been confronted with some serious health concerns that need to be addressed before I undertake such a massive task as running for governor of our great state. We ask for your thoughts and prayers as well as your patience as we wade through this difficult time. I am not going away, but need time with my family. We greatly appreciate your strong support and kind words.”

Two other Republicans are running for governor — businessman Allen Alley and former legislator John Lim. Former Portland Trail Blazers center Chris Dudley and state Senator Frank Morse of Albany are considering running as well.

— Damian Mann