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Bakk out of governor's race

ST. PAUL -- Tom Bakk dropped out of the Democratic governor's race Saturday, saying he did not think he would have enough delegates to win the party's endorsement.

"Our campaign had the delegates to be a factor at the convention, but after much reflection I did not think we could reach the 60 percent needed for endorsement," the senator from Cook said at the St. Louis County Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party convention in Duluth. "Faced with a decision of spending the next month working to earn delegate support or focusing entirely on the immediate problems Minnesota is facing, I've chosen the latter and will focus on my work as chair of the Senate Tax Committee."

As chairman, he will play a key role as the state works to get out of a budget deficit.

"I've decided to continue to focus my energies on the most immediate needs of the state - namely balancing the state budget in as fair and sensible a way as possible and putting in place policies that will restart our stalled economy," Bakk said. "Running for the DFL endorsement for governor has been a great experience and I believe meeting so many people from across the state will make me a stronger legislator."

Bakk has been senator since 2003, after serving in the House eight years.

Davis reports for Forum Communications Co.