Another Republican has dropped out of the race for governor. State Senator Jerry Behn is endorsing former Governor Terry Branstad’s bid for a fifth term.

“It’s one of those deals where all along I’ve had a common sense theme and I’ve consistently said that in times of trouble you resort to the basics.  That’s the ABCs,” Behn says.  “And in this particular case, it’s ‘Anybody But Culver.'” 

Democrat Chet Culver intends to seek a second term as governor in 2010.

Behn has pledged his “full support” to helping Branstad make a political comeback.  Behn talked with Branstad about his endorsement. Behn says he wasn’t promised a job in a Branstad administration — and Behn says his exit from the race is not a signal to his other competitors that they should drop out, too. 

 “I’ve said all along I wanted to do what’s best for Iowa,” Behn says.  “Well, I think this is what’s best for Iowa and I wanted to be involved in helping Iowa move forward and I think I can do that best by replacing our current governor with Governor Branstad.”

Behn, who farms with his son, says he was forced to take a sort of “sabbatical” from the campaign because the wet weather in October extended the harvest season.

“As a farmer I had a long, particularly drawn-out fall, so there was kind of some time off from the campaign while I was farming and it would be time now to get actively rolling again,” Behn says.  “It just seemed like the appropriate time to do this.” 

Behn was elected to the Iowa Senate in 1996 and he is in the middle of a four-year term. 

Cedar Rapids businessman Christian Fong announced after Thanksgiving that he was ending his campaign for the G.O.P’s 2010 gubernatorial nomination.  Senate Republican Leader Paul McKinley announced in July that he would “explore” the idea of running for governor, but he announced this fall he was not running.  There are now four candidates remaining in the Republican field:  former Governor Branstad, state Representative Chris Rants of Sioux City, state Representative Rod Roberts of Carroll and Bob Vander Plaats of Sioux City, the 2006 Republican nominee for lieutenant governor.