One of two Florida Keys candidates for the U.S. House of Representative seat has dropped out of the race.
Marathon resident Doug Walker said Thursday he recently completed a poll of mainland residents in Congressional District 26 and found his chances of winning were extremely slim.
The news came a day before the deadline to qualify for the race.
District 26 comprises Monroe County and sections of Miami-Dade and Collier counties. The Miami-Dade and Collier residents make up roughly 85 percent of the district, Walker said.
"I couldn't take contributions knowing the odds I was up against," Walker said. "It would have been an uphill battle."
Walker maintains there is "poor leadership" in Washington, D.C., and the policies involving Cuba need to be reviewed. He said the embargo has been a failure that has done nothing to reduce Fidel and Raul Castro's power.
Exploratory oil drilling by companies that have partnered with Cuba is a major reason to repair relations, Walker said. He said if a spill occurs, Cuba does not have the resources to deal with it, but the U.S., which could be affected by the spill, does.
Walker, a Republican, said he has not ruled out running for a local office in Monroe County.
"The only way I would do it is if I could really help out," he said. "I will leave the door open."
Key Largo resident Jose Peixoto has completed and filed his paperwork with state elections officials to qualify for the District 26 race. He is running with no party affiliation, and will face the winner of the Republican and Democratic primaries on Aug. 14.