Kansas House Minority Leader Jim Ward of Wichita suspended his campaign for governor on Wednesday.
Ward will instead focus on being re-elected to the House.
“My voice is not leaving Kansas politics,” Ward said in a letter released on his campaign’s Facebook page. “The stakes in Kansas are simply too high to give up the fight."
Kansas Democratic Party Executive Director Ethan Corson said Ward is a strong voice for Democrat issues in the House, from school funding to LGBTQ rights.
“It’s really important that he continue to have a platform,” Corson said. “He’s been a great minority leader, and I’m glad that he’s going to continue his service."
Ward was first elected in 2003 and was selected by Democrats as the House minority leader at the end of 2016.
The remaining leading candidates for the Democratic nomination are former Wichita mayor Carl Brewer, state senator Laura Kelly of Topeka and former Kansas representative and agriculture secretary Josh Svaty.
The primary election is Aug. 7.
Stephan Bisaha reports for KMUW in Wichita and the Kansas News Service, a collaboration of KMUW, Kansas Public Radio, KCUR and High Plains Public Radio covering health, education and politics. Follow him on Twitter@SteveBisaha. Kansas News Service stories and photos may be republished at no cost with proper attribution and a link back to the original post.