ATLANTA (AP) — The only Democrat running to replace Nathan Deal in Congress is dropping out of the race.

Mike Freeman said "recent events within my family" demand that he set politics aside. The retired pastor said he's not running in the May 11 special election and won't run in the November general election. Freeman did not provide more specifics about what prompted him to withdraw.

His name will remain on the ballot for the special election since he's already qualified with state elections officials.

Freeman was one of eight candidate seeking Deal's seat in North Georgia. Deal stepped down for the House to seek the Republican nomination for governor. The 9th congressional district is heavily Republican.