Rep. Connie Mack IV announced Friday that he will not launch a Senate campaign in Florida, after making moves that led many political insiders to think he would run.
"I've got two small children and it's hard enough to get to spend a lot of good quality time now. I have a wife. They are all very important to me and at the end of the day family has to be number one,'' the Republican told the St. Petersburg Times.
Mack made his formal announcement at 10 a.m. in Fort Myers.
He said his parents and family had encouraged him to run for the seat held by Sen. Bill Nelson (D). Mack is the son of former Sen. Connie Mack (R-Fla.), whom Nelson succeeded in the Senate. He is married to Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-Calif.), and both have children from previous marriages.
"I come at this from a different place than a lot of members. This decision, it wasn't an easy decision,'' Mack told the newspaper.
Even without Mack in the race there is expected to be a crowded field of Republicans vying to take on Nelson next year. Other candidates expected to run or are already in the race include former Sen. George LeMieux, state Senate President Mike Haridopolos and former state House Majority Leader Adam Hasner.
Former Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., candidate for U.S. Senate in New Hampshire, holds his hand over his heart during the singing of the national anthem as he waits to take the stage for his town hall campaign rally with Sen. John McCain at the Pinkerton Academy in Derry, N.H., on Monday, Aug. 18, 2014.