Ramsey County Attorney Susan Gaertner has dropped out of the DFL race for governor.
Gaertner did not seek the DFL endorsement, but was planning to run in the August 10 primary. Her exit means the DFL-endorsed candidate, Margaret Anderson Kelliher, will face former U.S. Sen. Mark Dayton and former state Rep. Matt Entenza in the primary.
During a State Capitol news conference Monday afternoon, Gaertner said she she made her decision Sunday.
"The reason is simple. With the endorsement of Speaker Kelliher by the DFL, and the presence of two very well-funded candidates in the race, I did not see a path to victory," she said.
Gaertner said she would have made a different decision if DFL delegates had endorsed a different candidate. She did not offer her personal endorsement of Kelliher, but added she didn't want "to be a spoiler" in Kelliher's quest to become the first woman to win the job.
Gaertner declined to endorse any of the candidates, but said Minnesota has never come closer to electing a female governor.
Kelliher became the first woman to win major-party endorsement for the state's highest office when the Democratic Party backed her campaign in Duluth on Saturday.
"This is the closest Minnesota has yet to come to electing a female governor," Gaertner said. "That would be history-making."
Gaertner is not running for re-election as Ramsey County attorney.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report)