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Maine Senate President Mike Thibodeau Drops Out Of Governor's Race

Mal Leary
Maine Public/file
Maine Senate President Mike Thibodeau at a news event May 23, 2017.

Republican Senate President Mike Thibodeau is ending his bid for governor. Thibodeau announced that he's dropping out of the governor's race in a Facebook post published Monday.

He wrote that it was too difficult to juggle the demands of the ongoing legislative session, running a small business and a gubernatorial campaign.

Thibodeau launched his campaign in November - later than many of the declared party candidates - but posted a strong showing in campaign contributions.

Although he started his political career as a conservative firebrand, Thibodeau was viewed by some as a pragmatist in a Republican primary field that has attempted to capture supporters of hardliner Gov. Paul LePage.

LePage and Thibodeau have publicly clashed during recent battles over the state budget, and in 2015 the governor's political operation blanketed Thibodeau's district with robocalls critical of the Senate president - a move that soured their relationship.

Thibodeau's withdrawal from the race shrinks the Republican primary field to four candidates.

Journalist Steve Mistler is Maine Public’s chief politics and government correspondent. He is based at the State House.