MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Republican Keith Downey announced Wednesday that he is withdrawing from the Minnesota governor’s race.
In a statement, the former chair of the Minnesota Republican Party said that he was unable to see a path to victory in the wake of GOP heavyweight Tim Pawlenty entering the race.
“The opportunity for me to win in November has closed,” he said.
Last July, Downey entered the crowded field of Republicans hoping to take the seat of Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton, who is not seeking re-election.
The 57-year-old from Edina had hoped his campaign would attract supporters of President Donald Trump, whom he helped mobilized in the 2016.
“I still believe in my message and my prescription for Minnesota,” Downey said in his statement. “And I doubt that a typical Republican candidate and message is what voters are looking for.”
Earlier this month, Pawlenty finally entered the race for his former job after months of signaling. He was governor of Minnesota for two terms, between 2003 and 2011.
Already, the fundraising juggernaut has amassed $1 million, dwarfing the war chests of his Republican rivals.