Lester Spell won’t seek 5th

Mississippi Agriculture Commissioner Lester Spell says he won’t run for re-election in 2011.

The fourth-term commissioner announced his decision Wednesday to his staff, to The Associated Press and in a letter to supporters.

Spell was a veterinarian and Richland mayor before he was elected agriculture commissioner in 1995. He took office in January 1996.

Spell was first elected statewide as a Democrat. He switched to the Republican Party in 2005, saying his ideas about government efficiency were a better match with the GOP.