Minnesota Rep. Paul Thissen said Wednesday he is dropping out of the governor's race after finishing last in the straw poll at party caucuses the night before.
The former state House speaker's departure shrinks the field of DFL contenders to five.
"I know from experience that so much of life is not just working hard, but is also being in the right place at the right time," Thissen said in a statement. "Now is not the right time for my candidacy."
Thissen, an attorney who has represented southwest Minneapolis in the Minnesota House, previously announced he would not run for that seat again.
He has served in the House for 16 years, and was one of the longest serving House DFL leaders. His one term as House speaker, in 2013 and 2014, saw the DFL pass high-profile legislation that included a tax increase on upper earners, a minimum-wage increase, and votes to legalize same-sex marriage and medical marijuana.
In mid-January, Thissen said he was focused on the DFL endorsement and would drop out if he did not receive it. He noted that he had done poorly in the caucus straw poll the last time he ran for governor in 2010, but ended up doing comparatively well at the convention, although he did not get the party's endorsement.
The 51-year-old attorney said he did not know what he would do if he lost.
In his announcement that he was leaving the race, Thissen continued to stress a key piece of his gubernatorial platform — addressing racial inequity.
"Minnesota is commonly ranked as the second-most racially unequal state in the country," Thissen said. "The greatest legacy we could leave in the next decade is to adopt the focus and policies needed to make us the most equal state. I hope that discussion forms the heart of the 2018 campaign."