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Jim Webb Drops Out of US Presidential Race

FILE - Former Virginia senator Jim Webb.
FILE - Former Virginia senator Jim Webb.

Former Virginia senator Jim Webb announced Tuesday he is dropping out of the Democratic race for president.

Webb announced his withdrawal at a Washington news conference but left the door open to an independent White House bid. Webb says he will speak with a number of people over the next few weeks before making a decision.

Webb opposed the war in Iraq but has more conservative views on gun control and other issues that left him out of step with many Democratic voters.

“I fully accept that my views on many issues are not compatible with the power structure and the nominating base of the Democratic Party," Webb said. "That party is filled with millions of dedicated, hard-working Americans. But its hierarchy is not comfortable with many of the policies that I have laid forth, and frankly I’m not comfortable with many of theirs. For this reason I’m withdrawing from any consideration of being the Democratic Party’s nominee for the presidency.”

Webb’s departure from the Democratic field leaves four contenders, frontrunner Hillary Clinton, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley and former Rhode Island governor Lincoln Chafee.

Webb’s announcement also comes as Democrats await a decision from Vice President Joe Biden as to whether he will join the 2016 Democratic field.

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    Jim Malone

    Jim Malone has served as VOA’s National correspondent covering U.S. elections and politics since 1995. Prior to that he was a VOA congressional correspondent and served as VOA’s East Africa Correspondent from 1986 to 1990. Jim began his VOA career with the English to Africa Service in 1983.