DENVER (CBS4)– Democratic candidate Mike Johnston has withdrawn his bid for U.S. Senate. This comes just a little more than two weeks after former Gov. John Hickenlooper announced he was running for the Senate seat to challenge incumbent Republican Cory Gardner.

Mike Johnston (credit: CBS)

Johnston lost out to Gov. Jared Polis in the statewide primary last June.

Johnston told CBS4 Political Specialist Shaun Boyd that the race changed when Hickenlooper decided to run after dropping his bid for president.

(credit: YouTube)

Johnston believes he still had a path to win the Democratic nomination but that would have required an expensive negative campaign and that’s not who he is.

“I spent some time over the weekend with my family in Fairplay and we hiked and fished and spent some time together and I just looked at the campaign ahead, and I realize now to win this Democratic nomination is going to require a campaign that is both very expensive and I think very negative. And that is not who I am, that’s not what I believe,” said Johnston.

He also told Boyd that when you’re part of a team, you realize that sometimes the team is bigger than you and you need to do what’s best for the team and not necessarily for you personally.

As the presumed front runner in the race, Johnston has raised more than $2.5 million.

Johnston said he spoke with Hickenlooper on Tuesday and that they remain friends.

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