PORTLAND — U.S. Senate candidate William Schneider said he would resign as Maine’s Attorney General if he wins the Republican primary on June 12.

Schneider, who was appointed attorney general last year, announced the decision at a press conference this afternoon at One City Center.

“It simply will not be possible to give my constitutional office the attention it needs while running a winning, statewide campaign for the United States Senate,” he said, reading a prepared statement.

Rick Bennett, another Republican Senate candidate, released a statement shortly after Schneider’s announcement, criticizing some of his opponents in the primary for “playing musical chairs with their political offices.”

“The ink is barely dry on their last campaign signs on new letterheads when they jump into a contest in order to seek another political position,” he said in the statement.

Bennett previously has questioned how his opponents who hold constitutional offices — Schneider, State Treasurer Bruce Poliquin and Secretary of State Charlie Summers — would handle their campaigns and their day jobs.

Schneider said he has been using vacation time when his campaign takes him away from his job.

He said the decision to resign would be a difficult one, but he realized he could not fulfill both commitments if he faced a fall campaign.

“I do love the job, and I love the people I work with,” he said.

“It’s kind of formed in my head as the campaign has gone on,” he said of how he came to his decision. “And frankly, I’m almost out of vacation time.”