JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - One of the nine Democrats running for Mississippi governor is withdrawing from the race.
Phillip West is a former state representative and former mayor of Natchez. He issued a statement saying he's supporting fourth-term Democratic Attorney General Jim Hood for governor.
Hood has raised more money than any of the Democrats running, but less than Republican Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, who is one of three people seeking the GOP nomination.
West says he wants Mississippi to have good health care, high-performing schools and safe roads. He says Hood shares those goals. West also says the stakes in the governor's race are too high "for friends to bicker."
Party primaries are in August and the general election is in November.
Republican Gov. Phil Bryant couldn't seek a third term.