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Aug 31, 2010 3:52 PM by Melissa Canone

Republican Candidate Hunt Downer Will Remain in Race

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Republican candidate Hunt Downer says he won't end his bid for the GOP nomination in the southeastern Louisiana-based 3rd Congressional District, despite suggestions he
should drop out.

Downer, a former Louisiana House speaker, fell far behind opponent Jeff Landry in last week's Republican primary. Landry barely missed an outright victory with just under 50 percent of the vote. Downer had 36 percent. A third candidate, Kristian Magar,
placed a distant third, but forced the Oct. 2 runoff between Downer and Landry.

Magar has refused to endorse a candidate, a blow to Downer, who had hoped to get Magar's support and bolster his tea party credentials.

Meanwhile, the Tea Party of Louisiana, one of several tea party groups in the district, urged Downer to exit the race so Landry can focus on the Democratic nominee, rather than a Republican runoff.

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