TUPELO, MS (WLOX) - Tupelo Mayor Jason Shelton is dropping out of the race for U.S. Senate, saying it's just not the right time.
"After much prayer and consideration I have reached the decision that I will be withdrawing my candidacy for U.S. Senate in the special election to replace retired Senator Thad Cochran, and request that my name not be included on the November ballot," Shelton said.
Shelton issued a statement Tuesday saying the nature of the special election, with a short qualifying period, meant potential candidates had to make quick decisions about qualifying.
"I still feel strongly that we must get beyond the rhetoric that has been so detrimental to progress, and elect a U.S. Senator who is intent on working with Mississippians who need help navigating the maze of the federal government, working with other senators to push back the rising tide of debt swallowing our nation, and working to find practical solutions to the many challenges facing people across Mississippi," Shelton said. "While my heart tells me this election, at this time, is not right for me, I am one of many in the next generation of leaders who are ready to serve for the betterment of our fellow Mississippians."
Republican Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith, who was appointed as Cochran's replacement, is running for the seat in November. She will face fellow Republican state Sen. Chris McDaniel, as well as former Democratic Rep. Mike Espy.