After weeks of pressure from her own party to drop out, Republican Jeanine Pirro abandoned her struggling campaign to unseat Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and announced Wednesday that she will run for New York attorney general instead.

"I have decided that my law enforcement background better qualifies me for a race for New York State attorney general than a race for the United States Senate," Pirro, the Westchester County district attorney, said in a statement.

With her campaign against Clinton in trouble, Pirro had been under strong pressure from top state GOP leaders to make the switch.

The move leaves Republicans with two active candidates for the Senate nomination: former Yonkers Mayor John Spencer, who is not well known statewide, and an even less well known tax attorney from the Catskills region, William Brenner.

Some supporters expect New York City lawyer Edward Cox, a son-in-law of President Nixon, to consider re-entering the Senate race. Cox withdrew in October after Republican Gov. George Pataki endorsed Pirro.