Chattanooga City Councilman Andraé McGary said Tuesday he won't seek the congressional seat now held by U.S. Rep. Zach Wamp, citing "wrong timing."
"No. 1, with the birth of my new son, I think it's very important for me to consider where my family is," Mr. McGary said. "Two, I think there are a lot of great things happening in my district -- I'm over the downtown district. I fear if I were to run for Congress, it would jeopardize my effectiveness."
Mr. McGary, 30, would have been the only Democrat officially in the race.
Another Democrat, Brad Parish of Kingston, Tenn., has formed an exploratory committee.
Mr. McGary said he considered entering the contest because he was "sickened" by the thought of former Tennessee Republican Party Chairwoman Robin Smith taking the seat. He specifically called campaigning the state GOP did during last year's presidential race "antics." "They are uncalled for," he said.
Ms. Smith has defended those campaign materials, which included a news release titled "Anti-Semites for Obama." She has said those releases were a response to "anti-Israel and anti-Jewish sentiment."
Tennessee Democratic Party Chairman Chip Forrester has said the process of finding a candidate for the race is "very fluid right now."
At least seven Republicans and two independents are seeking the seat. Rep. Wamp, R-Tenn., is stepping down from his 3rd Congressional District post to run for governor.
* Businessman Tommy Crangle
* Bradley County Sheriff Tim Gobble
* Attorney Chuck Fleischmann
* Attorney Van Irion
* Businessman Art Rhodes
* Former Tennessee Republican Party Chairwoman Robin Smith
* John Whitley
* Businessman Mark DeVol
* Engineer Greg Goodwin