FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) -- A longshot Democrat has decided to drop his bid for his party's nomination and run as an independent for U.S. Senate next year.
Owensboro contractor Ed Marksberry said Monday he believes Kentucky needs an independent candidate who is not beholden to party leaders.
Marksberry said his candidacy has been less about winning and more about influencing the political conversation. He said he feels he can better achieve that as an independent.
His departure leaves University of Louisville communications professor Greg Leichty and Louisville music promoter Bennie Smith in the race against Democratic front-runner Alison Lundergan Grimes.
On the Republican side, U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell faces a challenge from Louisville businessman Matt Bevin.
McConnell, the Senate GOP leader, is seeking a sixth term.
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