Local Democrat Linda Ketner, who gave Congressman Henry Brown a close race in 2008, announced she will not be running for the Democratic nomination again in 2010.

But she pledged to continue fighting for improved education and energy conservation, as well as an increased presence for women in South Carolina politics.

Ketner also suggested that she may consider running for office in 2012 if the right opportunity presents itself.

In November, Charleston County voters picked Ketner over the four-term Brown, but she failed to get enough votes in the rest of the district to pull out a win.

However, with a spread of less than five points, the race was close enough to prompt the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee to spend money in advance of a 2010 challenge, including targeting Brown in ads earlier this year.

Ketner’s close race also has prompted some younger guns in the GOP to consider challenging Brown in a Republican Primary next year, including political dynasty Carroll “Tumpy” Campbell III.

With Ketner out of the running, two local Democrats rumored to be considering a run against Brown in 2010 are Statehouse Rep. Leon Stavrinakis of West Ashley and Mt. Pleasant veteran Robert Burton. Stavrinakis confirmed Tuesday that he is considering a run and will likely make a decision this summer.

Soon after the loss in November, Ketner announced that she would continue advocating for South Carolina voters and she stuck by that pledge in an e-mail to supporters Tuesday morning.

That includes eliminating lobbyist influence in political campaigns, developing safe energy alternatives in the state, improving public education, and helping women get elected in South Carolina.

Ketner has been an advocate for gay and lesbian rights in Charleston for more than 10 years, founding the nonprofit Alliance for Full Acceptance in 1998. The group has been a national model for grassroots activism and educating voters on gay issues.

Ketner has kept her politically savvy tongue sharp since the election with regular posts at her website, lindaketner.com

She made news recently when, in a conversation about the role her sexuality played in the 2008 election, Ketner named three prominent S.C. Republicans who have been rumored to be gay. Last week, she apologized and stated she was speaking in presumed confidence regarding rumors, not fact, and that she was not trying to “out” anybody.