State Sen. Mark Amodei on Monday dropped out of the Republican primary for the chance to challenge Democratic U.S. Sen. Harry Reid in November.
The Carson City senator charmed voters he encountered with quick wit and an apparent command of the issues. But it wasn't enough to help him get out of single digits in statewide public opinion polls.
"We weren't real sophisticated in terms of our approach to the media, and we weren't real hard-sell in terms of our funding approach," Amodei said.
He said he raised $60,000 to $70,000, far less than leaders Danny Tarkanian, Sue Lowden, Sharron Angle and John Chachas.
Amodei said that he decided to drop out now in part to focus on the special session of the Legislature that starts today , during which lawmakers and Gov. Jim Gibbons need to balance a budget that has an estimated $887 million shortfall.
"I don't want people saying Amodei is out there trying to use the special session as a device to promote his candidacy," he said.
Amodei was first elected to the Assembly in 1997, then moved to the Senate in 1999.
An attorney by trade, Amodei also worked as president of the Nevada Mining Association from August 2007 to January 2009.
He attended Carson High School, the University of Nevada, Reno, McGeorge School of Law and the University of the Pacific.
Amodei, who is in his last term in the Legislature because of term limits, said he thinks his career in elective office is over.
He declined to endorse another candidate in the Republican primary.