HELENA, Mont. -

 A real estate broker from Billings says he is abandoning his effort to gather enough signatures to run for a U.S. Senate seat as an Independent.
    
Sam Rankin tells Lee Newspapers of Montana that he'd only been able to gather a few thousand signatures. He needed the signatures of nearly 17,500 registered voters by the end of May to get on the November ballot.
    
Rankin says he was disappointed by the lack of response to his campaign efforts. He says people complain about Congress, but when a candidate with a different view comes along, they don't recognize and support it.
    
Rankin says he is endorsing former Lt. Gov. John Bohlinger, a Democrat. He says Bohlinger has the maturity needed to be a good senator.