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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- State Rep. Mike Anthony is dropping out of the race to be South Carolina's next superintendent and will instead seek a seventh House term.

Anthony announced Wednesday the end of his campaign as schools chief. The Union Democrat says he's decided he can be more effective at improving South Carolina's schools by remaining in the House.

The 63-year-old retired teacher and coach sits on the Ways and Means Committee and is assigned to the subcommittee that writes the K-12 budget.

His departure leaves one Democrat and eight announced Republicans in the race.

Anthony jumped into the race last fall, before GOP Superintendent Mick Zais announced he wouldn't seek re-election. That caused a growing number of Republicans to enter the field.

Anthony had $43,500 available as of his January campaign filing.

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