Utah Rep. Jim Matheson will not take on Sen. Orrin Hatch (R) in 2012, scuttling Democrats' only hope of putting the the seat in play.
"There has been a great deal of speculation during the past several months about whether I will consider entering the U.S. Senate race," the six-term Congressman said in a statement late this evening. "After consulting my family, I have made the decision that I will not run in next year's Senate election."
Matheson said he had not yet made a decision about what office he will seek in 2012.
His options now are running for governor or running in the redrawn 2nd or 4th districts. Republicans are favored in both after the GOP-controlled Legislature drew the new map.
"I am still considering my options and whatever race I choose I will run an aggressive campaign," Matheson said. "It is an honor and a privilege to serve Utahns in the U.S. Congress and my desire to give back to my state through public service is as strong as ever."
Roll Call rates the Utah Senate race as Safe Republican.
Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., takes a selfie with his cut-out head during the Hoops for Youth 16th annual charity basketball game held at George Washington University's Smith Center, September 8, 2014. The members of Congress team beat the lobbyist team 46-40. Buy photo here.