[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/05/22/art.lmcmahona0522.gi.jpg caption="Connecticut Republican Rob Simmons cited the wealth of rival Linda McMahon, pictured here with husband Vince McMahon, as one reason for halting his Senate campaign."]
(CNN) - Former Rep. Rob Simmons is halting his campaign for the Senate.
While his name will remain on the primary ballot, the Connecticut Republican said at a news conference Tuesday that "we have decided, reluctantly and prayerfully, to scale back the campaign. We will release staff to pursue other opportunities and curtail campaign activities. This is not an easy decision or a happy decision."
Former professional wrestling executive Linda McMahon captured the Connecticut GOP's Senate nomination endorsement, edging out Simmons at the party convention Friday night. At the time Simmons said he would challenge McMahon in the state's August 10 primary. Businessman Peter Schiff, another GOP candidate, failed to capture enough votes at the convention to qualify for the primary, but indicated he might launch a petition effort to get his name on the August primary ballot.
McMahon has spent millions of dollars of her own money on her campaign, which Simmons said Tuesday was a factor in his decision.
"We understand the mathematical reality of competing against an opponent with unlimited financial resources who has already invested over 16 and a half million dollars in this campaign – by far more than any senate candidate in the country – and who has an unlimited ability to continue spending at an extraordinary rate," said Simmons, according to prepared remarks released by his campaign.
As for what's next, Simmons said "while my name will remain on the primary ballot, in the coming months I will devote myself to helping other Republican candidates for public office."
With Simmons ending his active bid for the GOP Senate nomination, McMahon will most likely face off this November against Democratic Senate nominee and Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, who is apologizing for misstating his military record during the Vietnam War.
"I have made mistakes and I am sorry. I truly regret offending anyone," Blumenthal said in a statement sent to the Hartford Courant Sunday night. "I will always champion the cause of Connecticut's and our nation's veterans."
Blumenthal's comments come one week after the New York Times reported that he distorted his military service record. The article alleges that Blumenthal lied about serving in Vietnam and says that he never served in that war, even though the candidate has claimed he did in speeches before veterans groups and military families.
Blumenthal acknowledged last Tuesday that he has not always accurately described his military service during the Vietnam War. Blumenthal served in the Marine Corps Reserves during the Vietnam War, and was stationed stateside. He says he mistakenly said he served "in" Vietnam rather than "during" Vietnam in his previous speeches.
The absence of a strong apology in his remarks last Tuesday fueled criticism from Republicans and even some Democrats.
In the statement to the Courant, Connecticut's largest daily newspaper, Blumenthal said that "at times when I have sought to honor veterans, I have not been as clear or precise as I should have been about my service in the Marine Corps Reserves."
Simmons did serve in the U.S. Army in Vietnam, winning two bronze stars. He served as a Connecticut state lawmaker before winning election to the House in 2000. Simmons served three terms before losing a re-election bid in 2006.
Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn