State Rep. Todd Stephens (R., Montgomery) dropped out of the race for state attorney general over the weekend after losing a straw poll to another Montgomery County Republican.

Stephens threw his support behind State Sen. John Rafferty (R., Montgomery) in an announcement to supporters Saturday. Rafferty defeated Stephens in straw polls Saturday of the Northwest and Southwest state Republican caucuses.

"It's clear Sen. Rafferty will have the votes he needs to win the endorsement," Stephens said in a statement. "I want to congratulate him on his win and thank him for a spirited contest for the endorsement."

With Stephens' withdrawal, Rafferty is the only Republican seeking his party's nomination for attorney general in 2016. Raffery, a former deputy attorney general, launched his campaign in June.

"I am confident that my campaign will successfully earn the endorsement of the Republican Party of Pennsylvania and win the election this November," Rafferty said in a statement.

Several Democrats have either launched campaigns or are considering running for attorney general in a primary battle that could include incumbent Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane.

Kane, elected in 2012, is facing criminal charges for leaking secret grand jury information to embarrass a political foe and has remained in office despite a suspension of her law license. - Laura McCrystal