Ben Downing announced Tuesday that he is ending his campaign for Massachusetts governor, citing insurmountable monetary challenges. The former state senator, who represented Pittsfield and several other Western Massachusetts communities for a decade and now lives in East Boston, was the first candidate to enter the 2022 Massachusetts governor’s race.

“Unfortunately, we simply do not have the financial resources to continue,” Downing said in a press release Tuesday morning. “While it’s painful to admit, that reality has brought this chapter to a close.”

With Downing out, the Democratic field currently consists of Harvard political theorist Danielle Allen and state Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz. The most recent filings from the Massachusetts Office of Campaign and Political Finance show Downing with less than $33,000 cash on hand, compared to about $386,000 for Allen and nearly $200,000 for Chang-Diaz.

Attorney General Maura Healey is expected to enter the race soon and would immediately be considered the Democratic frontrunner if she does. Her poll numbers are consistently strong, and she currently has $3.3 million cash on hand, according to state filings.

In an interview with GBH News, Downing suggested that Healey’s potential candidacy was a factor in his decision.

“We expect there’ll be a bigger field in the Democratic primary, and probably a more well-funded field,” Downing said.

“I’m excited about the small-dollar donations we’ve been able to build, the support from all 26 gateway cities and 200-plus cities and towns across the state,” he added. “But it just hasn’t been enough to be able to build out a team that could run a caucus operation, run a convention operation, run a field team at the start of next year. And I couldn’t in good faith ask folks who have been there from the beginning to step up and support it if I didn’t see a path forward.”

Asked if he has any counsel for his fellow Democrats as his own candidacy ends, Downing urged them to avoid what he called a dangerous sense of complacency.

“I’ve heard too much from too many Democrats in the last month–plus that with Gov. [Charlie] Baker and Lt. Gov. [Karen] Polito not running for reelection, that somehow this race is a slam dunk and a guarantee,” Downing said.

“I’m old enough to remember people telling me that a certain attorney general running for United States Senate was a slam dunk and a guarantee, against one of my former colleagues in the Massachusetts State Senate,” he added, referring to Martha Coakley’s 2010 Senate loss to Scott Brown. “So, we can’t assume anything. We’ve got to go out and earn not just the support of voters, but the trust.

“There is a real lack of trust in so many places in our society, but in particular in our political institutions,” Downing continued. “And for the action that we need to take — on climate, in particular, on economic and racial justice — we need a greater sense of trust between our elected leaders and the public. And that trust can’t be won in 30-second TV ads and glitzy mail pieces. It’s won by showing up, listening, hearing people — not just showing up with your idea of what the solutions are, but hearing them out and developing real, concrete solutions that address the challenges they face every day.”

Former state Rep. Geoff Diehl is seeking the Republican nomination, and has the endorsement of former President Donald Trump.

Downing, who entered the race in February 2021, had worked at a solar-energy startup after leaving the Legislature. He had pitched himself as the most environmentally attuned candidate in the race, as the Democrat best poised to win votes in Western Massachusetts, and as a leader capable of bridging the gap between centrists and progressives.

Both Allen and Chang-Diaz wished Downing well after his exit, with Allen praising his “extraordinary leadership” and Chang-Diaz calling him a friend and a “champion for people across Massachusetts.”