MIAMI – Former New Hampshire Sen. Bob Smith (search) on Thursday ended his campaign for a Senate seat in his new home of Florida, citing a poor start to fund-raising.
The Republican raised only $66,000 in a crowded campaign that features five GOP candidates who have topped the $1 million mark.
"In spite of our best effort, we just didn't raise enough money to make the campaign viable," Smith said.
Smith has long been considered a maverick. He left the Republican Party and ran for president in 1999, but rejoined the party a few months later, saying he had made a mistake.
The two-term senator was defeated in the 2002 Republican primary by John Sununu, who went on to win the election. He took a job last year selling high-end waterfront real estate in Florida.
Instead of seeking office again, Smith said he has accepted an appointment to be president of the Everglades Foundation (search).
The winner of the Senate race will claim the seat held by retiring Sen. Bob Graham (search).