Popular Charleston Democrat Linda Ketner will not run for Congress in 2012.
The 2008 candidate lost in a close race against former Rep. Henry Brown. She told Dorchester County Democrats on Saturday that she needs to spend time with her parents.
Ketner was the keynote speaker at the Dorchester County Democrat Party's Alice J. Cicenia Dinner. She told the crowd that when she was deciding whether to run in 2007, it looked like the score was 52 to nothing and she wanted to get in the game.
"It's four years later now, and I'm afraid we're down 104 to nothing," she said. "But I'm not going to tease any more about this. I can't run in 2012."
Ketner said her mother is ill.
"I want to and I need to be with her as she goes through this and I can't do anything else," she said.
But Ketner didn't rule out a future race and she continued to press Democrats to fight for common sense reforms and fight against corruption in Washington.
"I'll be involved, because time is short and the stakes are high," she said. "There are people who have more and think they're entitled to make all the rules for the rest of us."
Ketner's four-point loss to Brown in 2008 was a wake-up call for Republicans, who began lining up in 2010 to challenge the congressman in a primary. Brown eventually announced he wouldn't seek re-election and instead launched an unsuccesful campaign for Berkeley County supervisor.
Also at the Dorchester Democrats' dinner on Saturday, former Ridgeville Mayor Hazel Parson-Starkes and the late Dorchester County Councilman Kenny Waggoner Sr. were given the Alice J. Cicenia Distinguished Service Award.
Parson-Starkes was praised for revitalizing Ridgeville during her 18 years as mayor, including growing the police department and bringing businesses, banks and improved public services to the area.
"She has been such an inspiration to mayors of small towns who feel they are so limited in what they can do," said Faith Sellers, who presented the award.
Wagoner who passed away last month, served on the Dorchester County Council for 34 years and helped improve infrastructure and manage growth during his time in public service. Councilman Willie Davis presented the award to Waggoner's family.
"He was eager to try different approaches to solve life's problems that impacted his fellow citizens," Davis said. "Helpless never. Hopeful always. He believed the Democratic party can survive if we continue to work, encourage diversity in all levels and support and recruit candidates for all positions."