State Sen. Connie Williams, D-Montgomery, announced yesterday that she will not seek re-election next year, and state Rep. Daylin Leach wants to replace her.

"I will be running for the Senate next year," Leach, D-Montgomery, said yesterday, as he unveiled an all-star cast of Democrats to lead his 2008 campaign in the 17th District.

Gov. Rendell, U.S. Sen. Bob Casey and Williams herself will co-chair Leach's campaign. U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak will chair the Delaware County effort and Commissioner Joe Hoeffel will run the show in Montgomery County.

Democrats hope for a smooth transition from Williams to Leach in the Senate, where Republicans hold an eight-seat majority. At least one Republican candidate, Lower Merion Commissioner Lance Rogers, plans to run for Williams' seat.

Williams began her legislative career in 1997 in the state House, representing the 149th District. In 2001, she won a special election to replace retiring Republican Sen. Richard Tilghman. She was easily elected to her first full term in 2004 and was named Democratic Caucus administrator the next year.

"I really don't believe that one should be elected for life," Williams said yesterday, adding that she doesn't intend to seek elected office again.

Leach plans to hold a campaign kickoff event on Jan. 27 at a location still to be determined.