It is with regret and sadness that I announce that I am discontinuing my race for Congress in the New Jersey Third Congressional District. My decision was not made because I lack the passion or energy or commitment that caused me to enter this race. I have thoroughly enjoyed my six months on the campaign trail, and will always cherish the time I spent meeting with constituents and concerned voters of the Third District. 
 
I have often heard the phrase that money is the mother’s milk of politics and unfortunately I have learned this is true. In order to run a viable campaign I would need to spend eight to ten hours a day for the next thirteen months focused exclusively on fundraising. This is time spent away from the voters, time spent away from working on issues, and time spent away from the reasons I got involved in this race. 
 
I own my own firm, and have a professional obligation to my clients and employees who rely upon me. Dedicating the fundraising time required of a congressional campaign would mean failing to meet that obligation. Letting down my clients and my employees to run for public office is simply not an option for me. 
 
With that said, I am leaving the field to the candidate or candidates  who are ready and able to dedicate the time necessary to compete with the big money interests of Tom MacArthur, Donald Trump, the Koch Brothers, and the Republican National Committee. It will take a unified effort to win this race, and I look forward to supporting the Democratic nominee as we fight to take back the Third District. 
 
I have learned a great deal over the last eight months, but one message resonates with me the most. The system is flawed. The presence of big money in politics not only sways elections – but stops local people from getting involved in politics in the first place. The price of entry into the political field is simply too high and too discouraging for what is supposed to be a representative democracy.  It is the reason why we have a Congressman like millionaire Tom MacArthur, who prior to being a congressman never had any ties to the district and remains out of touch with his constituents. 
 
I may be leaving this race, but I will not be leaving the fight for good government. In accordance with Federal Election laws, I am converting my campaign committee into a Political Action Committee. My goal is to support a return to true representative government – something that has been lacking in our district and the country for years and something I believe is one of the fundamental problems in Congress. 
 
To everyone who offered their hand, a dollar, or any other support to my campaign – I am forever grateful. I look forward to continuing our work together.
 
Thank you, 
 
Katie Hartman