OLYMPIA, Wash. - Sen. Don Benton has dropped out of Washington state's U.S. Senate race, and is endorsing fellow Republican Dino Rossi.
Benton released a video announcement on his website Thursday announcing he was abandoning his campaign bid.
Benton says he decided to "do what is best for my country, what is best for my party" and step aside and endorse Rossi. Rossi announced Thursday he had already raised more than $600,000 since jumping into the race against Democratic incumbent Sen. Patty Murray last week. Benton's departure still leaves several candidates in the race against Murray, including former Washington Redskins player Clint Didier, who has been endorsed by former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. Washington's top two primary is Aug. 17.