John Barrow Not Running for Senate #GASEN

Barrow will not run for Senate. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Georgia Rep. John Barrow announced Tuesday that he will not seek the state's open Senate seat, leaving Democrats without a top candidate for now in the party's best pickup opportunity in 2014.

"I'm grateful for the encouragement I've received from folks all across the State of Georgia, but I've decided that I will not be a candidate for the Senate in 2014," Barrow said in a statement. "I enjoy my work on behalf of the folks in the 12th District, and I look forward to continuing to serve them in the House of Representatives."

Several other Democrats have been named as potential candidates. They include Michelle Nunn, the daughter of former Sen. Sam Nunn; former DeKalb County CEO Vernon Jones, who ran in 2008; state Rep. Scott Holcomb; Rep. Sanford D. Bishop Jr.; and former Attorney General Thurbert Baker, who ran for governor in 2010.

Republicans already have three candidates running for the seat of retiring GOP Sen. Saxby Chambliss, and more are likely on the way. Reps. Paul Broun, Phil Gingrey and Jack Kingston have all entered the race. Rep. Tom Price is expected to announce this month whether he will run, and former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel is still considering.