(CNN) - A wealthy Las Vegas attorney who was running for Senate in Nevada is terminating his campaign.
In a statement Wednesday, Byron Georgiou announced that he is ending his bid for his state's Democratic Senate nomination next year.
"I continue to believe that my background and experience well qualify me to serve in the Senate. However, at this time, I have concluded that I can more effectively contribute to resolution of the serious economic issues facing our state and nation through my work in the private sector, in the areas of clean energy, healthcare information technology, and broadband development," said Georgiou in his statement.
Georgiou's dropping out leaves seven-term Rep. Shelley Berkley as the only other Democrat who has announced in the race to take on Republican Sen. Dean Heller. The three-term congressman was appointed to the Senate in May by Nevada's GOP governor, Brian Sandoval, after a fellow Republican, Sen. John Ensign, who was under an ethics investigation, resigned.
Georgiou is a financial lawyer and an investor. In 2009, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid appointed him to the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission. Georgiou jumped into the race before Berkley, but once she announced Reid supported her and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee endorsed Berkley.
Two of the top non-partisan political handicappers, the Rothenberg Political Report and the Cook Political Report, both characterize the contest in Nevada as a toss up.
Democrats currently have a 53 to 47 majority in the Senate. They are defending 23 seats (21 Democrats and two independents who caucus with the party) next year, with the GOP defending 10 seats.
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