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    Attorney General Dustin McDaniel dropping out of 2014 governor race

    1:04 PM, Jan 25, 2013   |    comments
    Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel
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    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV/AP) - In a statement from the Attorney General's office, Dustin McDaniel is officially dropping out of the 2014 governor's race.

    In an email to his supporters today, McDaniel explained his decision to leave the Arkansas Governor's race.

    "I sought public office to serve my fellow Arkansans and to lead on issues that matter to the State that I love. I have done that, and I will be forever proud of my record in the legislature and as AG. I had hoped that I could shape the 2014 gubernatorial debate with my vision for the future. Unfortunately, I am now convinced that if I run for Governor, this campaign would be about me personally, rather than Arkansas's future," said McDaniel.

    "When it comes to our economy, our infrastructure and our schools - Arkansas is at a crossroads. I believe that we need a visionary to lead our state forward on these critical issues. Arkansas deserves a campaign that will focus on those issues, so I believe it's in the best interests of my family, our state and the Democratic Party for me to not run for Governor," continued McDaniel.

    "Bobbi and I want to thank the many people who have encouraged and supported us and continue to lift our family up in prayer. My path lies in doing my job and enjoying my family, not in the chaos of this campaign. I will spend my last two years as Attorney General focused on issues that matter to Arkansas, like fighting Medicaid fraud, ending the Pulaski County Desegregation case and standing up for consumers. I pledge that our next Attorney General will inherit one of the most well-run offices in the United States, and I will leave grateful for the tremendous honor of having served," McDaniel concluded.

    McDaniel has faced questions about his future in the race since he admitted to an "inappropriate" relationship last month with Hot Springs attorney Andrea Davis.

    Davis was the opposing counsel in five cases handled by McDaniel's office, including a school choice lawsuit the state lost. McDaniel has said no ethics rules were violated and said the litigation wasn't compromised by the relationship.

    McDaniel has been married since 2009 and has publicly apologized for the relationship.

    Related Links:

    McDaniel raises $410K for 2014 Ark. governor race

    AG apologizes to state, wife after admitting to relationship

    Records: Ark. AG called lawyer twice from office

    Verbatim of Dustin McDaniel's speech regarding relationship

    McDaniel responds to Hutchinson's gubernatorial plans

    Asa Hutchinson plans to run for gov. in '14

    Coleman files papers to explore Ark. gov. run

    (Source: KTHV & The Associated Press)

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