Smitherman will not run for Congress
Smitherman made the announcement in a release on Thursday. In the statement, he said he wanted to make it evident his intentions were to help the state during the tough economic times and not to run for the 7th District congressional seat.
"The challenges facing our state are monumental," Smitherman said. "I accepted the position of president pro tem of the Senate with the pledge to help meet these challenges and solve our problems. With a faltering national economy, falling state revenues, and increasing needs among our people, I cannot divert my attention from the responsibilities I have assumed in the Alabama Senate."
Smitherman, who was elected to the Senate in 1994, was elected president pro tem by his colleagues in February. The senator is the second black lawmaker elected to the leadership position.
He said he was not ruling out a run for Congress or other leadership positions in the future. With one of his four children still in high school, Smitherman said family was also a consideration.
Other candidates who have announced include state Rep. Earl Hilliard Jr. of Birmingham and Birmingham attorney Terri Sewell, a Selma native. Other potential candidates, according to various state media outlets, include state Sen. Bobby Singleton of Greensboro and Jefferson County Commissioner Shelia Smoot.The district includes Birmingham, Selma, Tuscaloosa and much of the Black Belt.
-- posted by Sebastian Kitchen