Republican Steve Abbott conceded the race to Paul LePage at about 11 p.m. Tuesday and addressed reporters shortly afterward at his campaign office on Baxter Boulevard in Portland.

“I think Paul really captured the spirit of that tea party movement,” he said. “Paul has such a compelling life story himself and he’s someone who was able to overcome a lot of the adversity in his life and I think that really captured the imagination of the people in the tea party and that’s why it was such a natural fit.”

Abbott said he would support Lepage in the general election and expected the other candidates owuld as well.