Anti-war mom Sheehan will not run for Senate

Thu Feb 9, 2:42 PM ET

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Cindy Sheehan, the anti- Iraq war activist whose son was killed in the conflict there, put an end to speculation on Thursday that she would launch a long-shot bid to become a U.S. senator from California.

Sheehan, speaking in front of San Francisco City Hall, said she would not run for the office.

"If I thought that running for Senate would bring our young people home more quickly I would do it in a minute, but I am not convinced that that would do so," Sheehan said.

A campaign would have pitted her against California's senior senator, Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat who is one of the state's most popular politicians.

Although experts and polls suggest Feinstein, in office since 1992, will win reelection easily, a campaign by Sheehan would have provided her with a platform for her anti-war message.

Sheehan, 48, became a central figure in the U.S. anti-war movement last summer after she camped out outside President George W. Bush's Texas ranch to call for a withdrawal of U.S. forces. Her soldier son Casey was killed in Iraq in 2004.

Sheehan has continued to stay in the news. Last week, police arrested her at the House of Representatives shortly before Bush gave his annual State of the Union address because she was wearing a T-shirt with an anti-war slogan.

On January 29 she met Venezuela's left-wing president, Hugo Chavez, who also criticized Bush.