Local Politics

Etheridge not running for Senate

Posted November 13, 2009 12:24 p.m. EST
Updated November 13, 2009 4:58 p.m. EST

— Second District Congressman Bob Etheridge said Friday that he has no plans to challenge Republican U.S. Sen. Richard Burr next fall.

"I believe that I can best help the people of North Carolina during this economic downturn by remaining in the House of Representatives and continuing to serve as North Carolina’s only member of the House Ways and Means Committee," Etheridge said in a statement.

The Lillington Democrat called Burr "the wrong senator for North Carolina" and "a roadblock to progress" in the statement and said he plans to work with the Democratic candidate for Senate in next year's election.

The announcement comes as the Federal Election Commission chided Etheridge for collecting campaign donations without filing as a candidate.

The Bob Etheridge for Congress Committee raised $153,639 between July 1 and Sept. 30, according to his latest campaign finance report.

Anyone raising more than $5,000 is considered a candidate under federal law, but Etheridge hadn't filed as a candidate for any office. The FEC sent a letter to him last month, setting a Nov. 27 deadline for him to enter a race in the 2010 election or "disavow these activities" and give up the money to avoid breaking campaign finance laws.

Etheridge officially declared his candidacy this week for re-election to his House seat.

Meanwhile, Secretary of State Elaine Marshall and Kenneth Lewis of Durham have said they plan to run for Burr's Senate seat. Marshall has raised $164,000, and Lewis has more than $180,000.

The Democratic primary will be held in May.