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Robert Brannum, the Ward 5 education activist and serial-hearing-testifier, has dropped his challenge to two-term incumbent Shadow Sen. Paul Strauss. Brannum made his announcement at the Ward 5 Democrats meeting Monday night in North Michigan Park.

“I did not have the time to put into an effective citywide campaign,” Brannum told LL, citing a need to stay “close to home in Ward 5.” Collecting the hefty 2,000-signature requirement for nominating petitions, he says, was not an issue.

That leaves Ward 8 activist Phil Pannell as the lone remaining challenger to Strauss for the Democratic shadown senator nomination. Brannum says he’s throwing his support, such as it is, to Pannell, citing a need for “someone who is able to bring a new dynamic to the cause.”

Brannum’s electoral ambitions have not been completely foiled: He told LL he’s planning a run for the State Board of Education, against incumbent Lisa Raymond for the nonpartisan seat representing Wards 5 and 6.

UPDATE, 2:44 P.M.: Brannum won’t be challenging Raymond, actually—-the makeup of the board changes next year, with one member elected from each ward plus an at-large member, rather than the current hybrid of mayoral appointees and elected members from two-ward districts. Raymond, who lives in Ward 6, is planning to run for that ward’s spot, LL assumes.