Arcata resident Chris Lehman announced Monday that he is dropping out of the 2nd District state Senate race and is throwing his support behind Sonoma County Supervisor Mike McGuire.
The seat currently is held by Noreen Evans, D-Santa Rosa, who is retiring this year.
Lehman, a political consultant and fundraiser who has close ties to Senate leadership in Sacramento, cited the cost of the campaign in his news release, as well as the political similarities between him and McGuire.
“Our biggest difference is geography — he’s from one community and I’m from another. That is not a sufficient reason for us to wage a costly campaign against each other when both of us believe that the job of a Senator is to represent ALL seven counties on the North Coast,” Lehman wrote.
He wrote that McGuire “has the unique blend of experience, commitment, energy, and a proven track record required to ensure our community is well represented in the Senate.”
A leaked poll in November appeared to show McGuire with a commanding lead in the race.
The poll showed McGuire garnering 30 percent of the vote, compared to 4 percent for Lehman and 3 percent for Eric Lucan, a Novato city councilman.
McGuire achieved an even higher percentage of the vote — 48 percent — after survey respondents were given information about his background.
Santa Rosa City Councilwoman Erin Carlstrom also dropped out of the Senate race.