|Updated: 12/09/2011 3:02 pm
||Published: 12/09/2011 2:59 pm
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Former Senate hopeful D.C. Morrison, a Democrat who became popular among Republicans for his conservative views and endorsements, announced Friday that he's seeking the Democratic nomination for the southern Arkansas congressional seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Mike Ross.
Morrison, 62, said he had decided in November to run for the 4th district seat and plans to move there soon. The Little Rock businessman won a surprising 13 percent of the vote in last year's Democratic Senate primary, despite having virtually no money or name recognition.
"I think Mike Ross has done a good job down there and he's a fairly conservative Democrat," Morrison told The Associated Press. "I think the folks down there want a conservative Democrat and I'm offering myself as a candidate."
Morrison said he decided to run after meeting with voters in the district throughout October. His candidacy was first reported Friday by conservative blogger Jason Tolbert.
In the Senate primary, Morrison's candidacy forced a runoff between incumbent U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln and former Lt. Gov. Bill Halter. Lincoln won the runoff, but lost to Republican John Boozman in the general election.
Morrison, who called himself a conservative Democrat, campaigned on a platform to repeal the federal health care law and called President Barack Obama a Socialist. He also said he believed Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that declared a woman has a constitutional right to an abortion, should be overturned.
After losing in the June runoff, Morrison became a popular surrogate for Republicans. He backed Boozman's bid for the Senate, along with other Republicans running for office last year. Despite those ties, Morrison says he still considers himself a Democrat.
"The Republican party is not perfect either," Morrison said. "I've got plenty of problems with the Republican Party."
Morrison is the second Democrat to announce a run for Ross' seat. Ross, a Democrat, announced in July he wouldn't seek re-election as he weighs a 2014 gubernatorial bid. State Sen. Gene Jeffress of Louann is also seeking the party's nomination.
Dardanelle management consultant and Army veteran Tom Cotton, Waldron businessman and Marine veteran Marcus Richmond and Beth Anne Rankin, last year's GOP nominee for Ross' seat, are running for the Republican nomination.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)