Republican Hunter Bates, a former chief of staff to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, will not run for retiring Rep. Geoff Davis' (R-Ky.) seat.
"My heart continues to be for public service and I look forward to the day when the time is right," Bates wrote in an email to Roll Call today. "But today is not that day. A father gets one shot to do right by his children in their formative years, and I will continue to make that my focus. I look forward to working with the GOP nominee to ensure that we maintain principled, conservative leadership in the 4th Congressional district."
Bates' statement comes only a couple of hours after state Rep. Alecia Webb-Edgington (R) declared her bid for the 4th district seat. A well-known Republican in the area, Webb-Edgington is the first and only candidate to enter the race since Davis announced his retirement.
But Republicans nonetheless expect a crowded field. Local GOP operatives name state Rep. Adam Koenig, state Sen. Damon Thayer and attorney Marcus Carey as potential candidates.
The 4th district is a safe GOP seat. That's not expected to change much after state lawmakers redraw the Congressional boundaries in the state next month.
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.