State Sen. Whitney Westerfield has dropped out of the race for Kentucky attorney general, citing time constraints from his role in the legislature.
Westerfield is the Republican chair of the Senate’s judiciary committee and narrowly lost a race for attorney general to Democrat Andy Beshear in 2015.
In a statement, Westerfield said running for the state’s top legal officer is “no longer feasible at this time.”
“I have been overwhelmed by the support I received during this campaign, but this decision will hopefully give another qualified candidate the opportunity to run their campaign as it should be run,” Westerfield said.
Westerfield’s decision to remove himself from the race comes days after Republican attorney Daniel Cameron entered it.
Cameron is a former University of Louisville football player and lawyer for U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell.
In a statement posted on Twitter shortly after Westerfield’s announcement, Cameron called Westerfield a “strong and effective leader.”
“I know he is a man of God, who exhibits his faith on a daily basis. I respect his decision to withdraw from the AG race and know the Lord will continue to use him,” Cameron said.
Shortly after Westerfield’s announcement, northern Kentucky Sen. Wil Schroder announced he would run for the position.
“It is crucial that Kentucky’s next attorney general be someone that has prosecutorial experience. This position is way too important for on-the-job training,” Schroder, a Republican from Wilder, said in a video posted online.
“With Sen. Whitney Westerfield, my friend, withdrawing today, I’m the only candidate that has a combination of prosecutorial experience and a conservative record.”
Former Democratic attorney general Greg Stumbo has said he will run for the office again, but he still hasn’t officially filed his paperwork.
The deadline to file is Tuesday, Jan. 29.