North Carolina Senator John Edwards says he will not seek re-election so he can concentrate on seeking the Democratic nomination for president in 2004.
The executive director of the North Carolina Democratic Party says Edwards declared his intentions in a letter to the party's chairwoman.
Edwards wrote that he wants to devote all his energy to running for president.
Edwards was elected to the Senate in 1998. He could have run for both offices simultaneously.
Edwards is set to formally announce his candidacy next week.
The senator has trailed in polls in early Democratic races in Iowa and South Carolina, but received good news from a South Carolina survey released last week showing him neck-and-neck with three other candidates in the state where he was born.