MANATEE -- Manatee County Commission candidate Nathaniel Leonard on Friday withdrew from the race and endorsed one of his former rivals.
"I believe Mr. Jonathan Davis would do a great job as county commissioner," Leonard said in a statement released early Friday evening. "To all my supporters, thank you for your support."
Leonard had been one of five Republicans running for the District 1 seat on the commission. Incumbent Larry Bustle had filed to run for re-election, but he later withdrew.
District 1 is comprised of parts of Palmetto, Parrish and other areas north of the Manatee River.
Besides Davis, a member of the Palmetto City Commission, the other candidates are animal welfare activist Sheri Clinard; former Manatee County sheriff's deputy Corie Holmes; and former state representative Ron Reagan.
Leonard, a counter-terrorism expert, said he was not done with politics.
"(T)o my fellow Manatee County residents, you haven't seen the last of me as a political candidate to represent you," Leonard said. "But for now, I need to focus on and finish a few things first."