Ross hopes Halter continues public service

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Mike Ross says he hopes former rival Bill Halter will continue pursuing public service after dropping out of the governor's race.

Ross said he spoke with Halter Monday morning about the former lieutenant governor's decision to drop his bid for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination. Halter's exit leaves Ross as the only announced Democratic candidate in the 2014 race.

Halter said he was dropping out to avoid a divisive Democratic primary next year.

Republican candidate Asa Hutchinson said he believed the differences between himself and Ross would become clearer to voters. State Rep. Debra Hobbs and Little Rock businessman Curtis Coleman showed no signs of dropping out of the Republican gubernatorial race over similar concerns about a divisive primary on the GOP side.

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