CEDAR RAPIDS — Three weeks after saying he was forming an exploratory committee to look into entering the race for the U.S. House in Iowa’s 1st District, Sen. Steve Sodders, D-State Center, has called it quits.

In an email Sunday, Sodders announced he has decided not to run for the seat.

“Despite this encouragement and the appeal of serving more Iowans in the U.S. Congress, my family and I have decided that I will not run for the U.S. House in 2014,” Sodders said.

A Marshall County deputy sheriff, Sodders won re-election to a second term in 2012.

“I love being a citizen-legislator in Iowa,” he said, and enjoys serving as Senate president pro tempore.

Sodders’ brief flirtation with a congressional run came after Rep. Bruce Braley, a Waterloo Democrat, announced he would run for the U.S. Senate. He hopes to succeed Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin, who will retire at the end of his current term.

Iowa Rep. Pat Murphy, D-Dubuque, was the first to enter the race for the Democratic nomination. On the Republican side, Steve Rathje of Cedar Rapids and Rod Blum of Dubuque are seeking the nomination.

— Globe Globe Des Moines Bureau

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