will not seek Senate seat Charles D. Walton
, who played an instrumental role in the redistricting lawsuit, is endorsing former Rep.
was one of eight Democratic candidates to declare his
intention to run for the seat in a district that stretches from the South Side the East Side.The candidates have until tomorrow to return their completed nomination papers.A Republican has also declared his
intention to run.Walton
will throw his
support behind former Rep.
..."My goal has always been unity, not division," Walton said, citing a potential Democratic primary race that could feature seven other candidates, including two blacks who have held elective office in the past (Metts and former City Councilman John H. Rollins).
...Walton, a Community College of Rhode Island administrator, said he will continue to be active in "community affairs and to address issues that impact the city's growing and diverse population."
The Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law, in Washington, D.C., some two years ago filed the suit on behalf of seven plaintiffs, including Metts and the Providence branch of the NAACP, to change a Senate boundry alignment that had Walton
and Pichardo in the same district in the 2002 primary.
The Senate district in which Walton
and Pichardo competed in 2002 went from 26 percent to 21 percent black as a result of the challenged realignment.
was the Senate's first and only black member.
...Walton, who was Senate president pro tempore during his last term, served on the Judiciary Committee and the Committee on Special Legislation.He
praised the new district map for resolving the concerns he
had about minority representation.
"While I am pleased with the affective role I played in that matter, and the recent outcome, I have decided not to pursue elected office this year," he
said, noting that he
looks forward to spending time with his
only hope is that others who have declared their candidacies for the seat will "see the importance of unifying and keeping our community strong."
Harwood ends the speculation: He's