McDaniel bows out of gubernatorial race

In the wake of a personal controversy that shed light on an extramarital affair, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel announced today that he won’t pursue the governor’s seat when it opens in 2014.

According to Arkansas Times, McDaniel eluded to the December 2012 whirlwind of stories that quoted him admitting to “inappropriate” relations with Hot Springs attorney Andrea Davis. He further stated he didn’t want the campaign to center on his personal life.

“When it comes to our economy, our infrastructure and our schools — Arkansas is at a crossroads,” McDaniel wrote in an email to Max Brantley. “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.”

In a follow-up conversation with Brantley following the initial news, McDaniel said he would return “dollar-for-dollar” most of the $1 million thus far contributed to his gubernatorial campaign. From the primary account he’ll use some donation money to pay outstanding bills, invoices and payroll. He’ll also follow through on a $40,000 promised contribution to Arkansas Democratic Party for its Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinner

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