Democrat drops bid to challenge Sen. Tom Cotton in Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The Democratic candidate hoping to unseat Republican U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton in Arkansas abruptly dropped out of the race Tuesday, citing a family health concern, leaving Democrats with no one to contest the seat.

Josh Mahony announced on Twitter that he was ending his campaign, two hours after the filing deadline for Arkansas expired. It was unclear what options, if any, the party might have for replacing him in the race.

Mahony did not immediately return messages seeking comment Tuesday afternoon.

“It has been the honor of my life to be able to meet and visit with so many Arkansans over the last six months and hear their voices. It was my sincere hope to be their advocate in Washington, DC,” Mahony said in a statement posted on Twitter. “However, in this moment right now, I need to focus on my family and place their interests first.”