Georgia Rep. Tom Price said Friday that he will not run for the state’s open Senate seat.
The five-term Republican becomes the second congressman this week to opt against the race, joining Democratic Rep. John Barrow.
Price would have been the fourth Republican congressman to launch a Senate bid. By declining, he leaves the door open for former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel to potentially join the current crop of GOP candidates: Reps. Paul Broun, Phil Gingrey and Jack Kingston.
“I’ve been remarkably encouraged and inspired by folks all across the district and the state to have us run for higher office, however, our assessment at this point is the House is the battleground for politics in this country right now,” Price said in an interview with the Marietta Daily Journal.
Democrats are still awaiting a candidate here, but are focusing their recruitment efforts on Michelle Nunn, the daughter of former Sen. Sam Nunn.
At this point in the cycle, the race for retiring GOP Sen. Saxby Chambliss’ seat presents Democrats with their best pick-up opportunity of the 2014 elections.