Democrats have harbored a grudge against Hudgens over his very conservative views and the changes he engineered to district lines that helped state Sen. Bill Cowsert, R-Athens, win in a landslide what should have been a very close race three years ago.
Recent Democratic candidates have been underfunded underdogs, but if the seat is open next year, the party might have a better chance, said Mac Rawson, a former chairman of the Clarke County Democratic Committee.
"It opens up an opportunity for someone," Rawson said "We'll just have to see what's going on and what kind of candidate we can find to fill that slot. When an open seat comes up, I'm sure we'll put a lot of resources into it."
Rawson ran against Hudgens in 2006, but said he's not interested in running again.
At least two Democrats, though, said they are interested.
Bobby Saxon, an Army reservist who ran for Congress last year, is serving a one-year tour of duty at the Department of Defense, but said he will think about running when the tour ends in January.
"I'm happily serving my country at the Pentagon," Saxon said. "I'm staying out of politics. When this assignment is up, I'll make a decision on whether to re-enter the political arena."
Tim Riley, Hudgens' opponent last year, said he is leaning toward taking another crack at it and will decide in a week or two.
"I haven't made a final decision yet," Riley said. "We're thinking about it strongly. I would say don't count me out."