- Associated Press - Thursday, April 3, 2014

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Democratic state Sen. Marc Keahey of Grove Hill has dropped his campaign for re-election in a southwest Alabama district that has become more Republican leaning.

Keahey announced his decision in the state Senate Thursday. He became tearful while telling senators he wants to spend more time with his family.

When the Republican-controlled Legislature drew new House and Senate districts based on the 2010 census, it redesigned Keahey’s 22nd District to include more areas that tend to vote Republican. Another Democratic senator whose district was drawn more Republican, Tammy Irons of Florence, announced in February that she would not seek re-election.

Keahey said there had been speculation about whether he might lose. “I’m not going to lose because I’m not going to be on the ballot,” he said.

Keahey told stories about his children and then said, “I look forward to spending time with them.”

Keahey’s withdrawal will allow the state Democratic Party to appoint a replacement candidate if it wants.

Democrats have held District 22 in southwest Alabama for more than a century, but Republicans have run expensive challenges in recent years. Five Republicans are running in the primary election June 3 to represent the redesigned district. They are Greg Albritton, Harry D’Olive Jr., Danny Joyner, Jeff Peacock and Stephen Sexton.

Keahey, an attorney, was elected to the Alabama House in 2006. He won a special election to the Senate in 2009 and won a full term in 2010.

District 22 stretches across parts of Baldwin, Choctaw, Clarke, Conecuh, Escambia, Mobile, Monroe and Washington counties.

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