Former state Senator Mae Beavers dropped out of the governor's race on Tuesday.
She said on her Facebook page, "To the volunteers, supporters, and every person who championed my run for Governor, I want to express my deepest gratitude to you. Today, after much deliberation, I am suspending my campaign for the office of Governor of the great state of Tennessee.
"After criss-crossing the state and meeting thousands of fellow Tennesseans, it was not a light decision to make because you have embraced our conservative message whole-heartedly; however, it is the right choice to make. Also, I know entering the race has not been in vain as many of my heart-felt issues are now talking points of other candidates'.
"Again, I can’t express enough of the sincere thankfulness that I have for you and the out-pouring of love and support as a volunteer and supporter you had for this campaign. Jerry and I look forward to my retirement after decades of being an elected official, and we pray that God blesses you and our great state and nation."
Candidate Randy Boyd said, "Senator Beavers and I got to know each other during my time as ECD Commissioner and I applaud her efforts to serve Tennessee with passion and a conservative vision.
"Jenny and I wish Sen. Beavers and her family the best as they move on to the next chapter,” said Boyd.
Diane Black, another candidate, said, “While Mae and I don’t always agree on tactics, we have always agreed on philosophy, and I’ve always known her to be a dedicated conservative who fights for what she believes in.
"From our time in the state legislature fighting to protect the unborn and to stop a state income tax, we know the conservative movement is stronger when we are fighting for the same cause together. I wish Mae the best and hope that she will continue to be active in the fight in Tennessee.”
Candidate Beth Harwell said, “I want to thank Mae Beavers for her steadfast commitment to conservative values, and for her years of service to the state of Tennessee. I wish her the best in her retirement, and I know she will continue to be a voice for conservative values in our state.”