Sen. Andy Berke becomes 7th Democrat to retire

State Sen. Andy Berke says he won

Andy Berke, elected to state senate

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- State Sen. Andy Berke says he won't seek re-election to the General Assembly, becoming the seventh Democratic lawmaker to give up his seat this year.

Berke's Chattanooga district was redrawn as part of this year's redistricting process to include parts of heavily conservative Bradley County. Berke didn't announce his future political plans, but has said that he is considering a bid for Chattanooga mayor.

Berke, 43, was first elected to the chamber in a November 2007 special election to replace former Democratic Sen. Ward Crutchfield, who resigned after pleading guilty in the FBI's Tennessee Waltz bribery sting.

Berke won a full four-year term in 2008.

The other Democrats not seeking re-election are Reps. Janice Sontany, Harry Tindell and Bill Harmon; and Sens. Roy Herron, Joe Haynes and Eric Stewart.

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