Former Gov. John Baldacci said Wednesday that he's not running for the U.S. Senate, saying he and his family don't want to leave Maine to move to Washington, where he previously served eight years in the U.S. House.
Baldacci became the third prominent Democrat to bow out of the race for a Senate seat that Democrats were given good odds of winning with the departure of Republican Olympia Snowe. U.S. Reps. Chellie Pingree and Mike Michaud previously announced that they will defend their House seats rather than run for the Senate.
The 57-year-old Baldacci told The Associated Press that his family weighed into his decision. He said he wasn't prepared to move his family to Washington because his wife has a job in Bangor and his son is a student at the University of Maine. He also said he didn't like the idea of traveling back and forth.
"That's really what it came down to. You can take the boy out of Maine, but you can't take Maine out of the boy. It may be a shortcoming on my part, but it's one that I've embraced," said Baldacci, a Bangor native.
Baldacci served as governor from 2003 to 2011.
Snowe's announcement two weeks ago that she would not to seek a fourth term caused a scramble because candidates have only until Thursday to submit petitions for the June primary ballot.
Four other lesser-known Democrats previously announced they were running for the seat. On the GOP side, three candidates so far have submitted the 2,000 signatures necessary to get on the ballot.
Former independent Gov. Angus King is also running, making it a three-way race.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.