Alaska Independence Party candidate Vic Kohring withdrew from the U.S. Senate race Tuesday and urged his supporters to back Republican nominee Dan Sullivan instead.
Kohring, a former Republican state legislator who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit extortion and bribery in 2011, said in an emailed statement that he didn't want to draw votes away from Sullivan that could tilt the election toward incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Begich.
"Withdrawing lessens the chances of that happening," the statement quoted him as saying. "I call on all Alaskans to join me in voting for Dan Sullivan as our new senator."
A spokesman for Begich's campaign declined to comment.
Kohring received about 2,550 votes in last month's primary; opponent Zachary Kile received 1,850.
The state Libertarian Party has also replaced the candidate chosen by voters in last month's primary, Thom Walker, with another candidate, Mark Fish, following Walker's withdrawal.