Maine Senate President Mike Thibodeau has abruptly withdrew from the state's Republican gubernatorial primary, saying he's too busy running the legislature as well as his own manufacturing business.
"Life is about setting priorities. My service to Waldo County, fulfilling my role as Senate President, being leader of the Senate Republican caucus, and running my business are all priorities I take very seriously. Over the last few months, I've come to realize there just isn't time to do all of these things and run for governor at the same time," Thibodeau said in a statement issued Monday.
"Right now, there are too many important issues at play in the legislature for me to divert my attention away from the State House. Most notably, the important issue of tax conformity remains uncertain. Should the legislature fail to conform, I truly fear the impact it will have on Maine's economy.
"This is a point of crisis for Maine's businesses and families, and I feel an obligation to continue this fight on their behalf as Senate President. Fulfilling this obligation, and continuing to stand up for Maine's working families … will take a tremendous amount of work in the coming weeks and months."
He also said his snow shovel manufacturing business and a heavy equipment dealership needs his full attention.
"I have an obligation to my employees and my customers to make sure our business continues to grow and prosper. There simply aren't enough hours in the day to run a business, run the State Senate, have a quality family life, and run for governor," Thibodeau said.
"I am truly disappointed to have to make this decision, but I believe in my heart it is the right thing to do. I want to thank my family, friends and supporters across this state. I know many of them will be disappointed as well."
His withdrawal leaves four Republicans competing for the GOP nomination to succeed Gov. Paul LePage.
On Twitter, former Senate President Kevin Raye called Thibodeau:
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