Virginia Republican lawmaker withdraws from race

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A Virginia Republican lawmaker is withdrawing as a candidate for a state House race in a sudden and unexplained move.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that Del. Nick Freitas told election officials Thursday he was dropping out as a candidate for his Culpeper-area seat.

Election officials were set to meet Friday to handle Freitas' previous request that he appear on the ballot despite missing a filing deadline and submitting incomplete paperwork.

Freitas' lawyer declined to comment.

Republicans may try and nominate Freitas as the party's candidate again. That strategy could be challenged in court.

Republicans might also mount a write-in campaign with Freitas or another candidate. A write-in campaign would divert resources from other races. The GOP is in a tough fight to hold on to their narrow House majority.