Sen. Michelle Benson suspends campaign for governor

The lone woman in the Minnesota gubernatorial race has dropped out.

Sen. Michelle Benson, R-Ham Lake, announced Friday that she’s suspended her campaign for governor.

RELATED: Benson stands out as only woman in Minnesota governor’s race

The 53-year-old was first elected to the Minnesota Senate in 2010. Since then, she’s become one of its leading experts on health and human services and currently chairs the Human Services Licensing Policy Committee.

In addition to suspending her campaign for governor, Benson says she also won’t seek reelection to the Senate.

Below is her full statement.

“Our grassroots campaign started a little over a year ago with the support of conservatives in every corner of Minnesota. I’m thankful to my husband Craig, my children Calvin, Grant, and Claire, extended family, and the countless volunteers who stood with me in this effort. I’m beyond grateful for your efforts to create a place we are proud to call home and look forward to working together in the future.

“As families continue to struggle with the rising costs of daily life, Gov. Walz has failed to offer solutions to get Minnesota heading in the right direction. Instead, we need to focus on putting parents back in charge of their kids’ education, ensure safe streets with investments in law enforcement and public safety, and permanently reform government to allow Minnesotans to prosper.

“It’s time for Republicans to unite behind a single candidate that can defeat Tim Walz this fall. I look forward to working with delegates on selecting the right choice.”