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Arkansas Lt. Gov. Griffin drops governor bid to run for attorney general

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin on Monday dropped out of the race for governor and will instead run for attorney general.

Griffin announced he was switching two weeks after former White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said she was seeking the GOP nomination for governor.

“We need an attorney general who will back law enforcement, stand for law and order by cracking down on crime and corruption, and fight the liberal agenda of the Biden/Harris administration in court,” Griffin said in a statement released by his campaign.

His decision was first announced Monday morning by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

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Griffin, a former congressman, was the first candidate to announce a bid to succeed Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson and had raised more than $1.8 million since March.

But the race for the GOP nomination had become overshadowed by Sanders, who is running with former President Donald Trump’s endorsement and who had raised more than $1 million in the first four days of her candidacy.

Griffin’s announcement leaves Attorney General Leslie Rutledge as Sanders’ only rival for the nomination in the 2022 election, though state Sen. Jim Hendren is considering running.

He had focused his campaign primarily on a vow to eliminate the state’s income tax.