Former Gov. Reubin Askew withdrew his candidacy for the Senate Saturday, citing his distaste over the constant chore of raising campaign money and his desire to spend more time with his family.

Askew, a 1984 presidential candidate who dropped out of the race after placing last in the New Hampshire primary, had been considered a favorite to win the Democratic Senate nomination and then the general election. The Senate seat will be open because Democrat Lawton Chiles has decided not to seek a fourth term.Askew was expected to endorse the candidacy of Rep. Kenneth "Buddy" McKay, a third-term House member from Ocala. McKay's aides had said when rumors of Askew's withdrawal first surfaced that he would enter the campaign if Askew bowed out.

The other Democratic candidate is Rep. Dan Mica of Lake Worth. Rep. Larry Smith of Hollywood, Fla., is considered another possible candidate. He thought of entering the race before Askew announced last year.

The Republicans' primary candidate is Rep. Connie Mack, of Cape Coral.

Askew, 59, who was governor from 1971 to 1979, is a lawyer in Orlando. He ran for the party's nomination for president in 1984 but had withdrawn from politics until Chiles decided not to run again.