The Other Shoe to Drop? Dustin McDaniel's Candidacy (AP Analysis)

by Andrew DeMillo, The Associated Press  on Sunday, Jan. 27, 2013 10:53 am  

Highway Commissioner John Burkhalter, another potential candidate, has personal wealth he can draw on but little name recognition beyond government circles. The biggest question is whether McDaniel's departure opens the door for potential candidates who had previously ruled out a run. They include former Congressman Mike Ross, who opted against taking on McDaniel in next year's primary.

The departure also might not be the final chapter for McDaniel, who at the age of 40 had been a rising star in the party. His last two years in office, which include ongoing efforts to end millions in desegregation payments to three school districts, may offer a clue of whether he'll able to rehabilitate an image that's been defined in recent weeks more by a personal indiscretion than policy.

"My path lies in doing my job and enjoying my family, not in the chaos of this campaign," he wrote supporters in an email Friday.

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