Connecticut Democrat William Tong has abandoned his bid for U.S. Senate and is throwing his support behind one-time rival Congressman Chris Murphy.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy joined the two at a news conference Tuesday and said he too is backing Murphy.

Tong, a state representative from Stamford, had gained national attention as the only Asian-American candidate for Senate this year in the continental U.S. But he was facing tough competition from Murphy and former Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz (BY'-suh-wits).

Murphy is looking to consolidate support less than two weeks before the state's Democratic convention.

The nominee will face a Republican from a field including former Congressman Christopher Shays and former wrestling executive Linda McMahon. They are vying to fill the seat being vacated by Joe Lieberman, an independent.