- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 5, 2014

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Democratic state Sen. Tammy Irons of Florence announced Thursday that she won’t seek re-election in a newly designed legislative district that stretches halfway across the Tennessee Valley.

Irons’ district in the northwest corner of Alabama has traditionally been a compact, Democratic-leaning area. It was redesigned significantly when the Legislature’s Republican majority drew new boundary lines for this year’s legislative elections.

Irons said the new district stretches from western Lauderdale County to Memorial Parkway in Huntsville and is geographically more like a congressional district.

“I am concerned that covering such as large territory would take even more time away from my law practice at a time when I have many commitments this year. I am also looking forward to spending more quality time with my family,” she said.

Irons’ decision came one day before Friday’s deadline for Democratic and Republican candidates to sign up for the primary elections June 3.

Three Republicans, Chris Seibert, Jonathan R. Berryhill and Tim Melson, have already signed up to run in Senate District 1.

Irons served four years in the Alabama House before being elected to the Senate in 2010.

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