James A. Amann came to the State Capitol today to formally end his campaign for governor and make some goodbyes.
Amann, the former speaker of the House, stood with supporters in the Hall of the Flags as he ended a campaign that never gained traction.
“It’s been a great 28 years,” Amann said of his career in politics. “I thank everybody in this room.”
His departure temporarily leaves Democrats without a declared candidate for governor, though the party has a long list of candidates with exploratory committees, led by Ned Lamont and Dannel P. Malloy.
Amann said he expected Lamont, who has hired a campaign staff, to officially become a candidate next week.
He endorsed no one as he left the race.
Amann’s campaign had been inactive for weeks, making his announcement anticlimactic.
“It’s been nice to be home every night,” Amann said.
His voice was hoarse as he spoke. Later, he said he strained his voice making courtesy calls to supporters, thanking them and informing them of his decision. He has been vulnerable to losing his voice since recovering years ago from esophageal cancer.
“I lost it last night,” he said.
Amann, a three-term speaker who represented Milford in the state House from 1991 until 2009, had fashioned himself as a centrist, but his campaign had several stumbles, including an inability to raise money. He said he leaves the race owing at least $50,000.
“The pocket book didn’t allow me to compete,” he said.
His successor, House Speaker Christopher G. Donovan, D-Meriden, arrived after the press conference ended. They embraced.
Donovan’s offer to place Amann on the House Democratic payroll as a $120,000-a-year aide was rescinded after caucus members objected.