Manchester, New Hampshire (CNN) - New Hampshire Republican officials who supported Herman Cain's presidential run began to survey their options Saturday after Cain suspended his efforts, with several state representatives saying their support could go to Newt Gingrich or Ron Paul.
Cain ended his run for the White House on Saturday, saying he would focus instead on his family and on promoting his economic proposals from outside Washington. Cain visited New Hampshire three times over the past four months, and had four paid staffers and two campaign offices in the state.
Many of the legislators who had endorsed Cain in the nation's first primary contest told CNN Saturday that they were disappointed, but said Cain had made the right decision for his wife and children.
"I think he needs to focus on taking care of his family," said State Rep. Mike Ball, who said he is now considering supporting Paul, the Texas congressman, Gingrich, the former House Speaker, or former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum.
"They all have certain things that recommend them," Ball said. "As Herman Cain liked to say, he was reassessing things, and that's what I'm doing now. I'm reassessing."
State Rep. Sam Cataldo said he would support Gingrich.
"He knows Washington. That's a really important thing," Cataldo said.
Gingrich's experience in Washington, however, was a drawback for State Rep. Kevin Reichard, who said his vote would now go to Paul.
"Newt Gingrich to me is part of the establishment," Reichard said, adding Paul seemed closest to Cain in philosophy. "[Cain] was an outsider and he was a conservative, and Ron Paul seems to fit into that mold."
Cain's most prominent supporter in New Hampshire, former GOP state party chair Jack Kimball, said he would wait to learn who Cain would endorse before making his own decision. Kimball expects Cain's endorsement to come within days.
But some Cain supporters weren't planning to wait, Kimball said. After news broke that a woman told an Atlanta news station she had had a 13-year affair with Cain, Kimball said he heard from several Cain backers who were dropping their support.
"Virtually all of the ones who switched and decided to leave the campaign went to Newt," Kimball said.
One other Cain supporter, State Rep. Steven Smith, said he could not back any candidate other than Cain. He said he was discouraged that every other candidate had discussed passing bills to turn the country around.
"Herman Cain was the only one of the GOP candidates who said, 'you present the idea to the people and they will drive through the change,'" he said.
I hope none of them give any support to Willard whatsoever. Leave him at 25% and falling where he belongs.
Ron Paul is materializing as a significant candidate every second. As soon as Newt's poll numbers drop soon, Paul will be the front-runner.
RON PAUL 2012!
LET'S GET THIS DONE, AMERICA! DEMOCRAT, REPUBLICAN, INDEPENDENT, APOLITICAL, LET'S BRING REAL CHANGE!
Don't waste youe time! Obama/Biden 2012
Ron Paul has over 20 years experience in Washington.
"Gingrich's experience in Washington, however, was a drawback for State Rep. Kevin Reichard, who said his vote would now go to Paul.
I know you just work at fluff pieces Rachel but this article is so error ridden it's pathetic. At leat get it right when describing a sitting congreesman. Dr. Paul is still an active member of the house.
Ron Paul has been in some sort of political office since 1977 and he's not an insider? Republicans have lost their bearings...their're floundering around and don't know which way to go...Obama2012!!!
Cain's out now I'm supporting Ron Paul!
13 years of hypocrisy is a long time – when all that time Cain was acting as a part time baptist preacher, marrying people etc. and yet these supporters don't seem to have a problem with that...
These same supporters want to support Ron Paul while Iran is get nukes and has threatened to blow up the US as well as Israel. It is very possible these supporters have not traveled outside their state or their country;and definitely have no idea of what is happening outside the US...
As as Asian, I am aware of the deficiency in the intelligence quotient of the average American, but this stupid behavior is beyond me....
come on Cain supporters Ron Paul needs your support.
Oh my God! Did CNN just say RON PAUL in a post? I'm in shock
ron paul is #1... everyone else is a lying dishonest faker
Ron Pau is still in Congress.
Romney and Gingrich are weak now....
Rick Perry stands out as only candidate to lead Republican party....
newt has had two affairs and three wives. lets vote him president!
The ONLY viable option now is OBAMA/BIDEN 2012!! This team will actually HELP the Middle-Class, Minorities, and the Poor unlike the Republicants!
I will continue to support Gingrich who I feel has the intelligence, background experience and extreme knowledge of history and how the other world countries work. He is the ONLY candidate who can put back integrity and stamina in the USA
"After news broke that a woman told an Atlanta news station she had had a 13-year affair with Cain, Kimball said he heard from several Cain backers who were dropping their support.
'Virtually all of the ones who switched and decided to leave the campaign went to Newt,' Kimball said."
What the hell? Do these people not realize Newt CHEATED ON AND DIVORCED 2 WIVES??
From Cain to Newt...'men' who flip-flop on their wives. It's obvious that Ron Paul is the only option left.
He had Colon cancer. Looks like he ate too much of his own pizza. He said blacks are brainwashed, well after the pizza, what he needs is a mouthwash !
This is REALLY bad news for Romney. The withdrawl of Cains is going to work against Romney in Iowa and New Hampshire. The more candidates to Romney's right–to split the right-wing vote–the better for Romney. This could very well be a death knell for his candidacy.
Hopefully, they will also consider Huntsman.
It will be Gingrich. I wonder how Bill Clinton got away with it and Cain can't?
The only candidate that can beat Obama on merits and ideas is Ron Paul but no sane Republican will vote for him...there aren't any sane Republican left, they all died of old age.
Why would someone "Wait to see who Cain endorses"? Basically saying they can`t think for themselves. I can`t wait till January. Ron Paul will be in the top 3 in every state. Yet i know they will be interviewing Santorum who will drop out.