Candidate drops out of Louisiana lieutenant governor’s race

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Rao Uppu, a Democrat who is running for Louisiana lieutenant governor, answers questions after registering for the race on Thursday, Aug. 8, 2019, in Baton Rouge, La. Uppu, a university professor, is challenging Republican incumbent Billy Nungesser. (AP Photo/Melinda Deslatte)

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — (8/13/19) One of the candidates who registered to run for Louisiana lieutenant governor has withdrawn from the race.

Rao Uppu, a Democrat and Southern University professor, qualified for the Oct. 12 ballot on Thursday when he realized Republican incumbent Billy Nungesser didn’t have a challenger in the election.

Uppu, a naturalized U.S. citizen who emigrated from India, said he couldn’t imagine someone winning a statewide office unopposed, so he signed up. He said without challenged elections, democracy is harmed.

But later that same day, Willie Jones, a New Orleans Democrat, also joined the lieutenant governor’s race.

The secretary of state’s office said Uppu removed himself from the ballot Monday. That will leave Nungesser and Jones as the sole contenders for the seat.

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