Georgia: Westmoreland Won't Run for Senate

Westmoreland announced Monday that he will not run to replace retiring Sen. Saxby Chambliss. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, R-Ga., said Monday he will not be a candidate in the Peach State's Senate race next year.

“After discussing it with family and friends, and after much deliberation and prayer, I have made the decision to not pursue a statewide office at this time," Westmoreland said in a statement. "I am honored to be serving as the U.S. Congressman for Georgia’s Third District."

Sen. Saxby Chambliss' retirement opened the floodgates for aspiring Georgia Republicans seeking higher office. Republican Reps. Tom Price, Paul Broun and Jack Kingston all look likely to jump into the race soon.

Other Republicans, such as Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, may also mount a bid.

Democrats' best bet to win the typically red state is probably conservative Democratic Rep. John Barrow, who has not ruled out a run.

Democrats also suggested Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed as a possible candidate. But Reed told MSNBC Monday that he was "going to keep being mayor." He is the heavy favorite to win re-election in November.