Rep. Jim Shapiro, D-Stamford

State Rep. Jim Shapiro, D-Stamford, said Thursday that he decided not to challenge Republican Congressman Chris Shays for his seat in 2008.

Shapiro, who had expressed interested in the fourth district congressional race, said the timing was not right for his family.

Instead, Shapiro will continue to work on issues such as affordable housing in the state legislature. He said he’s optimistic a bill he sponsored to exempt sales tax on construction materials used by private contractors to build affordable housing will pass next year.

In addition Shapiro called up Jim Himes, the Greenwich Democratic Town Committee Chair to tell him the news that there won’t be a Democratic primary between the two Jim’s. Himes announced in April that he will challenge Shays in 2008.

Click here to read Maura Keaney’s March diary entry about Shapiro’s initial interest in the race.