MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Nearly three weeks after coming in an amazingly close third place, Tim James shut down his campaign for governor.
Monday, staffers cleaned out their offices and James admitted defeat.
"This is Alabama politics. There are no guarantees, and I certainly understood going into the race, every decision, and it just didn't work out," James said during a press conference.
The candid tone comes after a non-stop fight for a statewide recount, which James says cost him more than $200,000.
James says he wouldn't have it any other way.
"We had to know for sure that it was right," he explained.
Meanwhile, the race continues. Bradley Byrne recently released an advertisement blasting Dr. Robert Bentley, aiming his attack at Bentley's record as a state legislator.
"Number one: he voted for this bill that allowed this teacher to sit in jail and continue to get her pay. Number two: he didn't stand up with me on the ban on double dipping," Byrne said.
Byrne also wants to know about Bentley's pledge to deny a salary as governor.
"It's a little interesting to watch him try to take the position: "I'm not going to take pay as governor, but he took the huge pay raise as a legislator. I think voters need to understand that," Byrne explained.
In the meantime, Bentley continues to campaign. Relieved the recount is over, he says he's now taking the high road.
"We talked about real issues facing the state of Alabama. That's unemployment. That's fighting the federal government, and it's intrusion into our lives, and that's cleaning up Montgomery," Bentley said.
The state republican party is ready to move forward with the election as well. Commenting on James' departure from the race, party chairman Mike Hubbard wrote:
"Tim James demonstrated his selflessness and his character by putting best interests of the Alabama Republican Party and the State of Alabama ahead of himself. Tim's decision to withdraw his election contest allows us to focus squarely on the runoff election, which is certainly a benefit to our party."