Republican candidate for governor Rory Smith announced Friday afternoon that he's backing out of the race.
The announcement comes just 52 days after the East Greenwich businessman filed paperwork with the state Board of Elections indicating his intent to run.
The announcement reads:
"After spending the last few months considering a run for governor, I have decided to suspend my campaign and return all campaign contributions. While I am deeply appreciative of the support of those who know me well, I have come to the conclusion that as a newcomer to politics, my limited political experience and political network in Rhode Island will keep me from running a fully competitive campaign. I am still concerned about the critical issues facing our State and hope to use my knowledge and experience to make Rhode Island a better place both now and in the future.
"I would like to especially thank Republican Party Chairman Giovanni Cicione for his encouragement and leadership. He has been a strong and skilled voice for the Rhode Island Republican Party, and he will have my support as he continues to grow and strengthen the Party in the years ahead."