Parson dropping Missouri governor’s bid to seek No. 2 post

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) _ Missouri’s crowded Republican primary for governor is losing a candidate.

State Sen. Mike Parson announced Saturday that he is dropping out of the governor’s race and instead will run for lieutenant governor in 2016.

The switch comes just three months after Parson declared his candidacy.

Parson told The Associated Press he feared his message would have gotten lost in what was shaping up to be a seven-way Republican primary for governor.

The only other announced GOP candidate for lieutenant governor is Bev Randles, a former chairwoman of the conservative political group the Missouri Club for Growth.

Parson said he plans to use his candidacy to denounce negative campaign tactics and big money in politics.

Randles got a $1 million contribution from retired investment firm founder Rex Sinquefield.