State Sen. Angela Williams, D-Denver, speaks to a reporter at the Colorado Capitol on Tuesday, March 5, 2019. (Jesse Paul, The Colorado Sun)

DENVER — Colorado state Sen. Angela Williams on Monday announced she will not seek re-election this year in her northeastern Denver district.

Williams, a Democrat, is a statehouse veteran who had advocated for small business and for families struggling to afford the rising costs of health care and housing amid Colorado’s economic boom.

MORE: Angela Williams exits U.S. Senate race

She was elected to the House in 2010 and to the Senate in 2016.

In July, Williams announced her candidacy against Republican U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, who is widely considered the most vulnerable GOP senator in the country. She suspended her campaign in the crowded Democratic race in November, several months after former Gov. John Hickenlooper announced he, too, was running.

Democratic State Rep. James Coleman of Denver has announced that he is seeking Williams’ seat. Williams said Monday she didn’t plan any immediate endorsement.

MORE: Here’s who’s running to unseat Cory Gardner

“This has been one of the two hardest decisions I have ever have to make, especially with the immense outpouring of support since deciding to suspend my U.S. Senate campaign,” Williams said in a statement.

She said she will focus this legislative session on legislation on family medical leave, work to repeal Colorado’s little-used death penalty, and continue her small business advocacy.

The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative, serving member newspapers and broadcasters in the U.S., and other customers around the world. The Colorado Sun is proud to be one of them. AP journalists in more...