Sparks to stay in gubernatorial race

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - State Agriculture Commissioner Ron Sparks says he is staying in the race for the Democratic nomination for Alabama governor and will not switch to the 5th Congressional District race.

Sparks told the Associated Press Tuesday that he was more committed to running for governor than ever and that he was in the governor's race to stay.

Sparks made the comments to the AP shortly before he was scheduled to begin a 10 a.m. news conference in Huntsville to announce his decision.

Some Democrats in Washington had urged Sparks to change races after 5th District Rep. Parker Griffith of Huntsville became a Republican last week. Sparks said he was honored by the interest, but feels he has made a commitment to the people of Alabama to run for governor.

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