Former Republican National Committee political director Gentry Collins dropped out of the race for RNC chairman late Sunday night.
He was one of embattled Chairman Michael Steele's biggest critics. He announced his decision in an e-mail to supporters.
"It is after much consideration and thought that I announce my withdrawal from the race for chairman of the RNC. I believe that there are several qualified candidates in the race for chairman, each of whom would do a fine job leading the committee through the 2012 Election cycle," he said.
He also noted: "I entered this race to make sure there was a credible alternative to Michael Steele and have said from day one I will not get in the way of electing new leadership at the RNC."
He did not endorse any of the remaining candidates but said any of the four — Wisconsin Party Chairman Reince Priebus, former Michigan GOP Chairman Saul Anuzis, former Missouri Republican Party Chairwoman Ann Wagner, and former George W. Bush administration official Maria Cino — would be a better alternative to Steele.
When Collins resigned from the RNC in November he offered a scathing critique of the Steele's tenure as leader of the Republican Party.
His letter attacked Steele's financial stewardship, which has been a concern for many RNC members. In his e-mail Sunday night, Collins said that "memo has been a game-changer for Chairman Steele’s re-election prospects."
Collins didn't gain much traction in the chairmanship race and trailed front-runner Priebus. He drops out before Monday's debate between the remaining candidates. The chairmanship election takes place on Jan. 20.