SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- State Sen. Matt Murphy is officially dropping out of the race for Illinois governor.
Murphy announced Thursday that he'll seek the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor instead. He'll be the unofficial running mate of Andy McKenna, who recently jumped into the governor's race.
Murphy says he's stepping aside because of his admiration for McKenna's integrity and experience as a business leader.
Murphy's campaign for governor faced long odds. The Palatine Republican has been in the Senate less than three years, and the field was crowded with more experienced candidates.
Even though Murphy and McKenna are joining forces, voters will decide their fates separately. The nominees for governor and lieutenant governor are chosen individually, so it's possible one of them could win the nomination while the other loses.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)