MARCH 9, 2006 - Posted at 1:49 p.m. CST
LITTLE ROCK, AR - Democrat Bill Halter has officially dropped out of the race for governor and says he will instead run for lieutenant governor.
Halter says that advisers told him the only way he could beat his Democratic opponent, Attorney General Mike Beebe, was to run attack ads. Halter says that was unacceptable to him.
Halter's departure from the race leaves Beebe alone in seeking the Democratic nomination. Asa Hutchinson is the only candidate on the Republican side.
In his time running for governor, Halter has raised $1.4 million. He says TV ads for his campaign for lieutenant governor will start running as soon as Friday.
Arkansas' primary is May 23, but if no other Democrat or Republican enters the race, neither party will have a gubernatorial primary.
The filing season opens March 21 and runs until April 4.