AUGUSTA — Michael Heath joined Maine’s race for governor and dropped out in less than a week.

Heath, a former leader of the conservative organization now known as the Maine Family Policy Council, decided to enter the race as an independent on Monday. But WCSH-TV says he issued a statement today saying he quickly determined that it’s not realistic for him to circulate the necessary petitions.

Independent candidates have until June 1 to collect at least 4,000 voters’ signatures each to qualify for the November ballot.

Five Democrats and seven Republicans are competing in their parties’ June 8 primaries for the gubernatorial nomination.