EMILY's List President Stephanie Schriock announced Tuesday that she will not run for Montana's open Senate seat, further dwindling a short list of potential candidates for the Democratic nomination.
"Montana raised me, and it will always be my heart," said Schriock, a Montana native and former top aide to Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont. "It has been truly incredible to hear from so many folks who believe in me. I would love to say yes, but this is not the right time."
Schriock was one of a handful of Democrats floated as potential candidates two weeks ago, after former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer made the surprise decision not to run. Just days later, state Auditor Monica Lindeen took herself out of contention.
Schweitzer's decision left the seat of retiring Democratic Sen. Max Baucus in jeopardy. It's now one of the top pickup opportunities for Republicans, who must net six seats to win the Senate majority in 2014.
Rep. Steve Daines, the top potential Republican candidate for the seat, told CQ Roll Call last week that he is still considering the race, but that he does not have a timeline for a decision. Already running are former state Sen. Corey Stapleton and state Rep. Champ Edmunds.
Other Democrats mentioned as possible candidates include Lt. Gov. John Walsh, state schools superintendent Denise Juneau and state Supreme Court Justice Brian Morris.
The race is rated a Tossup by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.