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Republican Candidate for Attorney General Drops Out

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Rob Bell (FILE) Rob Bell (FILE)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A Virginia lawmaker has unexpectedly dropped out of the running to be the Republican nominee for attorney general next year.

Rob Bell, who many considered a frontrunner to be the GOP nominee, said Monday he's leaving the race for family reasons. Bell is the father of two young children, including one with special needs.

Bell is a former prosecutor who represents a Charlottesville-area district in the House of Delegates. He unsuccessfully pursued the GOP nomination for attorney general in 2013.

His departure leaves Richmond attorney John Adams and Virginia Beach attorney Chuck Smith in the GOP nomination race, though others may join now that Bell has dropped out.

The winner will almost certainly face current Attorney General Mark Herring, a Democrat seeking a second term, in the general election.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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