Democrat Tom Bakk announced Saturday that he's dropping out of the race for governor.
Bakk announced his intentions at the St. Louis County DFL convention. He says he dropped out of the race because the effort needed to win the DFL endorsement conflicted with his work in the Legislature.
Bakk, who chairs the powerful Taxes Committee in the Minnesota Senate, says he needs to focus on the state's budget deficit, a jobs bill and another tax related bill.
He said he's inclined to run again for his Senate seat and won't back another candidate for governor at this time.
"When I announced this morning that I was going to withdraw, I made it very clear that I wasn't going to support any of the candidates prior to the convention," Bakk said.
Bakk's departure means there are 12 Democrats still running for governor. DFLers will endorse a candidate in April, but an August primary is likely.
Bakk also says the state's budget deficit, a jobs bill and another tax related bill should be his focus right now.
"I just have so much going on right now that I don't have the time to commit to this large pool of uncommitted delegates," he said. "I just never thought we'd be at this point where somewhere half of the delegates to the convention are uncommitted. For me, the timing just isn't right."
Bakk says he'll probably seek his Senate seat again but wants to discuss the issue first with his family.