Bon Iver‘s manager Kyle Frenette has withdrawn his candidacy to represent Wisconsin’s 7th district in Congress, he announced on Friday (May 25).
In a statement posted to his website and on social media, he cited personal reasons for backing out.
“I didn’t get into this race because I wanted to be a politician but because I wanted to be a representative,” Frenette said. “I wanted to represent the people of the 7th District; to give back to this amazing place that’s given me so much.
“Unfortunately, it is not my time. It is with a heavy heart I must withdraw my candidacy for Congress. Due to unforeseen circumstances in my life, I will not be able to continue giving this campaign and the people of the 7th district the time and attention they deserve.”
Frenette announced his candidacy in February, telling Billboard shortly thereafter, “Working in the arts is a complete expression of who we are as humans, it’s a complete expression of our freedoms and I’ve just been feeling lately more and more that those freedoms are in jeopardy. I knew I had to do something and it wasn’t necessarily like a specific moment. It was just taking a look at my home district and wanting to give back even more than Justin [Vernon of Bon Iver] and I have given back to the place that raised us.”
Over the months that followed, the former Billboard 30 Under 30 honoree from Chippewa Falls positioned himself as a frontrunner in the Democratic party, leading up to the Aug. 14 primary election. As of March 31, Frenette had raised more than any other Democratic candidate with $243,535 in all, including $50,000 in personal loans. Among those who contributed to his campaign were Glassnote Records president Daniel Glass, Big Deal Music president Kenny MacPherson, Secretly Group co-owner Darius Van Arman, musician Sharon Van Etten and manager Izvor “Izzy” Zivkovic, who until recently repped Kanye West.
Had Frenette locked in the Democratic nomination, he still would have had a long road ahead facing off against incumbent Sean Duffy, who had raised $2,347,844 as of March 31 and beat his last Democratic opponent by over 20 points in 2016. (That same year, Wisconsin’s 7th District supported Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton by a similar margin.)
Still, Frenette struck an optimistic tone in his resignation letter and encouraged his supporters to get behind “a number of other great candidates in the race who are ready to represent the district.” And he said he will be supporting whichever candidate prevails in the August primary.
“It’s apparent — something is happening,” he said. “Not just up north, but across our entire state and this great country. Now is our time. Change is afoot. I will continue to work hard to effect change and uphold the values this campaign stood for: health care for all; environmental protections; strong economic growth; high quality education; and ensuring our society values lives over guns. Values that allow everyone, regardless of gender, age, race or location, the ability to achieve their dreams.”
Read Frenette’s full announcement here:
It is with a heavy heart I must withdraw my candidacy for Congress . . . pic.twitter.com/hfn8AH5NUU
— Kyle Frenette (@kylefrenette) May 25, 2018