California Gov. Jerry Brown (D). (Rich Pedroncelli/AP, file)

Former California lieutenant governor Abel Maldonado (R) has dropped out of that state's 2014 governor's race.

In a statement Thursday, Maldonado said he won't be on the ballot at all this year.

"I have concluded that now, is not my time," Maldonado said. "It's time to step away for a while, and spend more time with my family and stay a little closer to home helping my community, as an active private citizen."

Maldonado's exit leaves state Assemblyman Tim Donnelly as the lone major GOP candidate running against Gov. Jerry Brown (D), whose rising popularity has made him less and less of a GOP target in 2014.

Former Treasury Department official Neel Kashkari is also looking at running.

Maldonado, who was appointed to his position by ex-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R), lost the lieutenant governor's race in 2010 and then a congressional race in 2012.