ELIZABETHTON, Tenn. -

The race for the Carter County Sheriff's office got a little less crowded over the weekend.

Independent candidate James Parrish announced that he was pulling his name out of the August general election.

Parrish also announced that he is now backing his old friend and former co-worker, Dexter Lunceford, for the office. Lunceford won by less than 70 votes over incumbent Chris Mathes in the Republican primary May 6.

Mathes has since announced that he'll be running as a write-in candidate.

Lunceford tells News 5 that he is thrilled to have Parrish's support. "Parrish called me the morning before he announced it publicly," Lunceford said. "It was a little bit of a surprise but it takes a lot of unknowns out of it and with his support hopefully we can reconfirm what the people have already said in their primary vote."

Lunceford will now face Mathes again in the August general election.