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COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) — The campaign trail didn’t even get warm for a Columbus candidate before he says a veiled threat forced him to rethink.

Willie Petty Jr. sent a letter Monday to the city’s Democratic Executive Committee withdrawing from the May 7 primary for mayor. Petty qualified minutes before Friday’s deadline to challenge incumbent Robert Smith in the primary.

Petty says he received a call Sunday questioning whether he met the residency requirement because he only moved into the city on March 1st. He lived with his parents outside the city prior to that.

Petty says other comments during the call caused him to reconsider his election bid.

His withdrawal leaves Smith, Republican Glenn Lautzenhiser and Independent Bo Jarrett to meet in the June 4 general election.

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