PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Civil rights icon and U.S. Rep. John Lewis says he didn't know his friend was running against Gov. Gina Raimondo when he endorsed her in the race.

WPRI-TV reports the Democratic congressman says he would have remained neutral or endorsed Matt Brown, who he called a "very, very good friend," if he knew.

Brown, a former Rhode Island secretary of state, announced in April that he was challenging Raimondo in the Democratic primary.

Brown referred to Lewis as a "mentor" and "old friend" in May. Raimondo announced the endorsement on June 1.

Lewis says the people who asked him to endorse the governor didn't tell him Brown was running. He declined to identify who approached him.

The Georgia congressman said he wasn't formally rescinding his support for Raimondo.