On the steps of the State Capitol in Hartford Wednesday, Sen. Toni Boucher (R-26) announced that she’s dropping out of the race for governor and instead running for re-election to the State Senate.

Boucher initiated an exploratory campaign for the office of governor about eight months ago.

“I love this state, and I have made a decision on how I can best serve my constituents and the people of Connecticut at this time,” Boucher said in a statement.

“The decision on how I can continue to best serve the people of our state has not been an easy one. It has been based on where I can do the most for my constituents, my party and the wonderful people of Connecticut.”

Boucher said she believes a “lasting impact” can be made in the General Assembly “by attracting businesses; empowering the children of our state; bringing relief to the Connecticut commuter; and bringing a voice to the voiceless.”

"The last eight months touring our state has deepened my belief that we have a tremendous amount of work to do in the legislature. The people and businesses of Connecticut are struggling. Their top concern is high costs. They feel the current leadership is failing by making Connecticut more unaffordable for them and their businesses,” she said.

"They are working hard to try to remain here, but they now find it may no longer be possible. My message of bringing fiscal stability and social inclusion to Connecticut has resonated throughout the state, and this will continue to be my priority.”

Boucher said it has been “an honor” to serve in the state legislature, as well as “a rare privilege” she will “never take for granted.”

As chief deputy majority leader, chairman of both the Senate Transportation and Education Committees and vice-chair of the Finance Revenue and Bonding Committee, Boucher said, “I know that victories lie ahead for the people of Connecticut.”

Boucher said the November election will be “one of the most important in memory” and “can change the direction of our state for the better for generations to come.”

“After winning equal representation in the state senate two years ago, Republicans are only one seat away from a majority,” she said.

“I'm committed, along with my Republican colleagues, to make this happen so we can pursue policies that put our state back on solid economic footing and ensure a prosperous future for everyone who calls our state home.”

Boucher said she will “fight to make Connecticut a place where families and businesses can once again thrive in a climate of lower taxes, efficient government spending, improved highway and rail transportation and the opportunity for a quality education for all of our children.”

"Connecticut gave my family the opportunity to have a future when we emigrated from Italy when I was only five years old,” she said. “I look forward to continuing to repay our state for the extraordinary opportunities given to me by serving in the Senate."

Boucher said she will be transitioning her exploratory committee and its donated funds to a campaign committee for Connecticut’s 26th Senate District, which consists of Wilton, Westport, Ridgefield and Redding, and parts of Bethel, New Canaan and Weston.

Boucher has served as senator of the 26th District since 2009. Before that, she served 12 years as state representative of Connecticut’s 143rd Assembly District.