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Tina Liebling's exit from governor race leaves 3 DFL candidates

She said her campaign would not succeed in the endorsement process.
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And then there were three.

The field for DFL candidates in this year's Minnesota gubernatorial race has been whittled down once again, after state Rep. Tina Liebling left the race.

She intends to run again in her house district covering Rochester.

Pending any late, high-profile entrants to the race, it will leave U.S. Rep. Tim Walz, state auditor Rebecca Otto and state Rep. Erin Murphy as the final three choices facing Democratic voters heading into the caucuses and convention later this year.

Walz, Otto and Murphy were the highest three performers in the DFL precinct caucuses straw poll for governor last month.

Liebling meanwhile came fifth (sixth if you include "uncommitted") behind former St. Paul mayor Chris Coleman, who along with seventh-place Rep. Paul Thissen dropped out of the race shortly after the poll results.

Related:

– GOP's Jeff Johnson calls out Tim Pawlenty in new video.

In a statement announcing the suspension of her campaign, Liebling said that despite "tremendous encouragement and support, it is clear that we cannot succeed in the DFL endorsement process."

"Many thanks to my family, my campaign staff and the many volunteers, donors, and supporters who inspired me to run and have stood with me," she added. "I will seek the endorsement of DFLers in House District 26A and run for re-election to the Minnesota House of Representatives."

Liebling had endorsements from groups including Millennials for Revolution and People for Bernie Sanders.

While the DFL field is narrowing down, the Republican race remains up in the air considering former governor Tim Pawlenty has not yet announced if he will run again.

If he does he faces competition from former candidate Jeff Johnson, among others, who criticized Pawlenty in a video this past week.

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