Minnesota Republicans will not have a primary for the open secretary of state’s office. Former state Senator John Howe of Red Wing pulled out of the race Thursday, clearing the way to the fall ballot for the GOP’s endorsed candidate Dan Severson. Howe lost at last weekend’s convention but left open the possibility of pressing on to an August primary election against Severson, a former legislator who sought the office unsuccessfully in 2010. Howe says he promised delegates he wouldn’t run without the endorsement so felt compelled to drop out. State Representative Steve Simon has the Democratic endorsement, but will have two primary opponents: Gregg Iverson and Dick Franson. Two Independence Party candidates are competing for a slot on the November ballot as well: Bob Helland and David Singleton.