PSC Commissioner Susan Parker will not run for Congress
Parker, who was also elected state auditor in 1998, is the second high profile Democrat in as many days to announce she will not run for the seat.
She said she was honored and humbled by the encouragement she has received to run for the office, but she will continue her reelection campaign for the commission.
"I feel a strong commitment to continue the important initiatives I have begun on the Public Service Commission: working to keep utility rates low, educating consumers on how to save money by conserving energy, and working hard to stay engaged on a national and regional level to ensure Alabama's interests are protected," Parker said in a statement.
Agriculture Commissioner Ron Sparks said Tuesday that he has received encouragement from national Democrats, including the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, to run for the District 5 seat, but decided to continue his run for governor.
Democrats have been looking for a quality candidate for the District 5 seat, which is located in north Alabama and includes Huntsville, since freshman U.S. Rep. Parker Griffith switched parties last week and joined with Republicans.
Sparks and Parker were among the first names to surface as possible Democratic candidates to challenge Griffith or the eventual winner of the Republican primary.
Other Republicans running for the office include Madison County Commissioner Mo Brooks and businessman Lester Phillip.
No Democrats have announced they are running for the seat. Griffith was elected a year ago as a Democrat during his first term in the state Senate.
Parker also said she was recently elected by her peers to become president of a national organization for commissioners in 2011 and is serving currently as president of an organization of her peers in the southeast.
"These leadership roles are important to helping Alabama and other southeastern states deal with the uncertain future of climate change legislation and energy production," she said.
-- posted by Sebastian Kitchen