Alabama Sen. Smitherman won't run for Congress

Sen. Rodger Smitherman (D)
Sen. Rodger Smitherman (D)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - The president pro tem of the Alabama Senate, Democrat Rodger Smitherman of Birmingham, says he won't run for Congress next year.

Smitherman had considered the 7th Congressional District seat being vacated by Democrat Artur Davis of Birmingham.

But he announced Thursday in Montgomery that he needs to focus on his state duties during difficult economic times.

Smitherman said the challenges facing the state are monumental, and he accepted the position of Senate president pro tem in February with the pledge to help meet those challenges.

Davis is giving up the 7th District seat to run for governor.

The 7th District stretches from the Birmingham area through Tuscaloosa into west Alabama.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)