Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Abel Maldonado drops out of California governor's race

2008 Republican National Convention: Day 3

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Abel Maldonado announced Thursday he would drop his gubernatorial bid to be the Republican nominee against incumbent Gov. Jerry Brown (file photo).

Republican Abel Maldonado ended his gubernatorial campaign Thursday, telling supporters "now is not my time."

Speaking in his hometown of Santa Maria, Maldonado the former lieutenant governor said he was stepping away from political life— at least for now — to spend time with his family. 

"This by no means suggests that I am giving up, or giving in.  I love my country and I love my state," he said. "But it's just time for me to take a break and focus more of my time on being a full-time dad and husband."

Maldonado is a former member of both the state Senate and Assembly. He was appointed lieutenant governor under Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger when John Garamendi was elected to Congress. He subsequently lost the race for lieutenant governor to Gavin Newsom in 2010.

Republican Tim Donnelly remains in the race for governor. Former U.S. Treasury official Neel Kashkari is expected to join the race as soon as next week. A Field Poll released last month found Gov. Jerry Brown, who has not formally announced his reelection, would win in a landslide victory. 

Maldonado appeared at the state Republican Party's conference in October with a new set of campaign advisors to outline what they saw as a path to victory. At the time, the campaign released two videos to highlight the candidate's support for Prop 13 and charter schools, and his opposition to prison realignment. 

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