Democrat drops bid to challenge Sen. Tom Cotton in Arkansas

The Democratic candidate hoping to unseat Republican U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton in Arkansas has dropped out of the race, citing a family health concern

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- The Democratic candidate hoping to unseat Republican U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton in Arkansas has dropped out of the race, citing a family health concern.

Josh Mahony announced on Twitter Tuesday that he was dropping out of the race, hours after the filing deadline for Arkansas expired. Mahony did not immediately return messages seeking comment Tuesday afternoon.

Mahony was the only Democrat who had filed to run against Cotton.

The announcement leaves Democrats without a candidate to challenge Cotton, who was first elected to the Senate in 2014. Mahony had badly trailed Cotton in fundraising and faced an uphill challenge in the solidly red state.

Mahony last year unsuccessfully challenged Republican U.S. Rep. Steve Womack in northwest Arkansas.