Republican 7th District congressional candidate Jon Elrod dropped out of the race Wednesday, ceding that he had little chance of defeating incumbent Rep. Andre Carson in the November general election.Elrod maintains his seat in the Indiana House, representing the 97th district, and wants to get back into the race for the seat he planned to give up to run for Congress.Elrod lost a special election in March to fill the seat left vacant when Rep. Julia Carson, Andre's grandmother, died. He was again nominated in May to face Carson in the fall.
He said the voters had spoken by electing Carson in the special election and that hopes of unseating him were a long shot."This decision was not made lightly. I take no pleasure in walking away from a fight. The easy path would be to stay in the race I am in right now," Elrod said. "I also know many supporters will be disappointed, but this is not about ego or ideology."Carson issued a statement following Elrod's decision that read, in part:"Over the past few months, as we campaigned in both the special and primary elections, I enjoyed the opportunity to get to know Jon better and I respect his decision. Though he and I often found ourselves on opposite sides of an issue, I am pleased to have had the opportunity to engage in a lively discussion about the issues that matter most to the hard working men and women of Indianapolis."Republican leaders will select a replacement candidate for Elrod, who should have no problem entering the state legislative race because there was no GOP candidate.The Democratic candidate in the 97th district, Mary Ann Sullivan, issued a challenge to Elrod to pledge that if re-elected, he will serve the full two-year term.