The five-way primary fight for Georgia’s ninth Congressional district Republican nod shrunk by one Thursday with the news that Hunter Bicknell would forgo his bid.

Bicknell, who notched the endorsement of a prominent Ellijay activist and radio talker last week, trailed rivals state Rep. Doug Collins and Martha Zoller in both public support and campaign funds.

Rumors began circulating in the last week he would end his campaign, but he told a local newspaper his decision to withdraw is one to which he resolved only yesterday.

“Yesterday, I got to thinking about ti and assessing the situation,” he told the JacksonHerald TODAY. “Based on the fact that it takes a loofa of money to run a campaign — and we’re getting into the phase now where you have to spend money to reach voters — I’ve decided that I did not want to put that much of my own money into the campaign.”

Instead, Bicknell will seek reelection as chairman of the Jackson County Board of Commissions.

As Tipsheet reported last week, Bicknell’s campaign had only $20,000 cash on hand at the end of April while State Rep. Doug Collins had stockpiled north of $140,000. Zoller’s total fundraising in the period was not far behind Collins, but her burn rate was considerly higher. Her campaign had just under $35,000 as she began May.

Boasting only the slimmest of chances of clinching the nomination, Bicknell was considered a potential spoiler to the leading contenders by most north Georgia political observers.

– James Richardson