BEND, Ore. -

Businessman Sam Carpenter, who announced his bid to unseat Jeff Merkley in the U.S. Senate on October 10, withdrew from the race Monday, while endorsing fellow Bend resident Jason Conger instead.

“I entered the race because at the time there were no well-funded and highly qualified challengers promoting limited government,” said Carpenter, who owns the Bend phone business Centratel.

“With Jason Conger and Monica Wehby now in the mix, that just isn't true any more," he said. "They're good people and excellent candidates who espouse what I believe. They’ve got it covered.”

While Carpenter believes that both Conger and Wehby are excellent candidates, Carpenter has endorsed Jason Conger.

Carpenter also thanked his staff and supporters.

“Many have come forward to offer their support including family, friends, and people I've never met,” Carpenter said. “I’m grateful for their passion, time, and effort. I encourage all of them to stay involved in order to fix what's wrong with Congress.”

Carpenter had pledged to spend $100,000 of his own money.

Since then, several other GOP candidates have entered the contest.

Portland lawyer Tim Crawley announced a campaign on Monday. He joins Conger and Dr. Monica Wehby of Portland.

Merkley was elected in 2008 and says he plans to seek a second term.