North Carolina Rep. Bob Etheridge says he will not run for the U.S. Senate next year.
Etheridge told The Associated Press on Friday that he thinks he can best help the people of North Carolina by remaining in the House, where he recently began working on the powerful Ways and Means Committee.
The seven-term Democrat says he looks forward to watching another member of his party run against first-term Republican Sen. Richard Burr.
North Carolina Secretary of State Elaine Marshall and Durham attorney Kenneth Lewis have announced plans to challenge Burr.
Etheridge was first elected to Congress in 1996. He represents the 2nd congressional district, which covers areas south and east of Raleigh.