Congresswoman Terri Sewell, D-Selma, announced that she will not run for U.S. Senate next year.
Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Alabama, is retiring and some Democrats had been hopeful that Sewell, the best known Democrat in the state, would be the Democratic nominee to replace Shelby.
“After careful consideration and consultation with my family and closest advisors, I have decided that the unfinished business of my home district, Alabama’s 7th Congressional District, is far too important for me to seek higher office at this time,? Sewell said in a statement.
“I will remain actively engaged in the U.S. Senate race in Alabama and will throw my full weight behind the Democrat candidate who emerges as the strongest advocate for protecting voting rights, expanding economic opportunity, and strengthening access to health care,” Sewell said.
Sewell is the only Democrat in Alabama’s congressional delegation and no Democrats hold any statewide office in the state.
Sewell had previously said that she was considering running for the Senate seat.
Former Senator Doug Jones is the only Democrat to win a statewide race in Alabama since Lucy Baxley in 2008, when he defeated former Chief Justice Roy Moore in a 2017 special election. Jones could still run for Shelby’s open seat; but the Alabama voters rejected him in a landslide last November.
No Democrat has entered the race yet. Former Ambassador to Slovenia Lynda Blanchard and Congressman Mo Brooks, R-Huntsville, have already announced that they are running for the Republican nomination.
Most political insiders believe that whoever wins the Republican nomination should easily best their Democratic opponent, whoever that will be.
Sewell is in her sixth term representing Alabama’s Seventh Congressional District and is a senior member of House leadership.