Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty says he plans to skip next month's Republican state convention and go straight to the August primary.

Pawlenty's move means he won't seek the party endorsement. In a statement Tuesday, his campaign says the two-term governor entered the race too late for to have a "fair fight" for the endorsement.

Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson is seen as the front-runner for endorsement, which brings party support and money.

Pawlenty says he'll make his case to voters in the Aug. 14 primary instead.

Pawlenty entered the race for his old seat last month.