- Associated Press - Thursday, August 7, 2014

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - The Democratic nominee in Alabama’s 6th District congressional race said Thursday he is giving up his longshot campaign in the heavily Republican area.

Avery Vise said he had sent a letter to Alabama Democratic Party Chair Nancy Worley informing leaders of his decision, which gives the party the chance to recruit someone to run against Republican nominee Gary Palmer in the general election.

Vise is new to politics, and he said his small business was taking on new challenges that make it difficult to campaign.

“I tried to give the party time to find another nominee if it chooses to do so,” he said in an interview. “My withdrawal is part of the recruitment process in a way.”

Worley said there’s interest in the race but no new candidate.

“Because he just dropped out I’ve heard different people saying that they’re either talking to people about running or they’re hearing names floating about,” she said.

The party executive committee could consider a new nominee at a meeting set for Aug. 16, she said, and the state’s deadline for getting a name on ballots is Aug. 20.

The letter to Worley said Vise knew he had “practically no chance of winning” in the 6th District, which is considered one of the nation’s safest districts for Republicans, but ran mainly to give voters another point of view.

Vise said he had tried but failed to find someone to take his place on the ballot before he withdrew.

“While I could have remained just a name on the ballot, such token level of representation serves neither the party’s interests nor mine, and it doesn’t further my goal of generating a full and open debate,” Vise wrote.

The 6th District covers much of central Alabama. It’s an open seat because longtime Republican Rep. Spencer Bachus is retiring.

Alabama Democrats were faced with a finding a candidate in a high-profile race two years ago when Circuit Judge Robert Vance Jr. stepped forward to run for chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court following the party’s disqualification of its original nominee. Vance lost to Republican Roy Moore.

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