Tom Pauken said on Thursday that he wouldn't file for the GOP primary for governor, explaining that the difficulties of running against the best-funded statewide candidate in the state would be too great.
The former Texas Workforce Commission chairman hadn't yet submitted papers to formalize his long-shot campaign for his party's nomination, spurring speculation that he wouldn't pull the trigger on a run.
"Even though I have worked hard to get our message out across the state the past six months, unfortunately we are nowhere near where we need to be financially and organizationally to win this race. And, the primary is only three months away," Pauken said in a statement. "I can no longer in good conscience ask friends and fellow conservatives to continue to help me when there appears to be no realistic path to victory."
Attorney General Greg Abbott is the prohibitive favorite to win the nomination, and Pauken acknowledged the difficulties of gaining traction against a candidate with $25 million in cash on hand. He also complained that "the media depicts this as a Greg Abbott v. Wendy Davis race."
As of Wednesday night, three other candidates — Miriam Martinez of Edinburg, Lisa Fritsch of Austin and Larry "Secede" Kilgore — have filed for governor, according to the Republican Party of Texas.