Elrod drops out of seventh district race

Jon Elrod
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Mary Milz/Eyewitness News

Indianapolis - State Representative Jon Elrod said Wednesday that he is withdrawing from the race for Indiana's 7th district in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Elrod said he felt running was too much of a long-shot since he has already lost to Andre Carson once in the March special election.

In a late morning news conference held outside his south side home, Elrod said he would run for his current Statehouse seat in District 97 instead. Elrod is able to run for that seat because it remains open.

Currently, there isn't a Republican candidate to face Democrat Mary Ann Sullivan in November. Elrod said he wasn't under any pressure from the party, but Indiana Republicans hope to win back the House in November and many say Elrod's seat is considered a must-win.

"This decision was not made lightly. I take no pleasure in walking away from a fight. The easy path would be to stay in the race. I also know many supporters will be disappointed.  But this is not about ego or ideology. The only question is how I can best serve Indianapolis. I am resolute that the greater good is in a hard-fought return to the statehouse, rather than a long-shot run for Congress," said Elrod.

County Republicans will hold two caucuses to decide their candidates for both those vacant seats. They have until June 30th to slot House District 97 and one month to name a candidate for the 7th congressional district.

Andre Carson issued the following statement in response to Elrod's decision:

"Over the past few months, as we campaigned in both the special and primary elections, I enjoyed the opportunity to get to know Jon better and I respect his decision. Though he and I often found ourselves on opposite sides of an issue, I am pleased to have had the opportunity to engage in a lively discussion about the issues that matter most to the hard working men and women of Indianapolis."

Carson added: "I'm taking nothing for granted in the fall campaign and will continue to work hard on behalf of my constituents. We face many challenges as a country-from sky-rocketing gas and food prices to the War in Iraq-and I remain firmly committed to fighting for the change we need."