Former Sen. Carte P. Goodwin will not run for Senate, citing his family as the reason in a West Virginia MetroNews report.
His decision ensures Democrats must continue their search for a candidate to run in this competitive Senate race in 2014.
Democratic Sen. Jay Rockefeller's retirement paved the way for an open-seat race in West Virginia this cycle. Both parties expect a competitive race, and CQ Roll Call rates it as a Tossup.
Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, a Republican, declared her candidacy for the Senate seat last year. Polling shows she's a strong contender — possibly the front-runner, depending on which Democrat wins the nomination.
Democrats considering runs include businessman Ralph Baxter, state Supreme Court of Appeals Justice Robin Davis, Rep. Nick J. Rahall II and Secretary of State Natalie Tennant.
In 2010, Goodwin was appointed to the Senate as a caretaker for the seat after the death of Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va.