Democrat Ross LaJeunesse announced Thursday he is dropping out of the race for U.S. Senate in Maine and will endorse challenger Sara Gideon.

“After consulting with my campaign team, I have determined that given current circumstances, there is no longer a path to victory for our campaign,” LaJeunesse said in a statement released by his campaign.

The former Google executive and Biddeford resident said the current coronavirus pandemic also played into his decision.

“I cannot ask my supporters to continue working hard, to continue making financial contributions, to continue volunteering, to continue advocating for my campaign when the country is focused on an unprecedented health and economic crisis, and when the type of campaign I planned, meeting voters where they live and work and speaking person to person, is impossible,” he said.

LaJeunesse, who also previously worked as a senior adviser to former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, announced his bid to unseat U.S. Sen. Susan Collins in November, joining a four-way race.

Gideon, the Maine House speaker from Freeport, is currently leading the pack in fundraising and polls. Bre Kidman, a Saco attorney, and Betsy Sweet, a progressive activist from Hallowell, are also vying for the Democratic nomination.

In his statement Thursday, LaJeunesse said he is endorsing Gideon.

“I admire Sara and her years of service to the people of Maine,” he said. “She has served us well in Augusta and I am confident she will represent us well in Washington.”

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