West Virginia Rep. David McKinley plans to announce Monday that he's not running for governor in 2016, according to two sources with knowledge of McKinley's plans. McKinley plans to make the announcement at a 3:30 p.m. Eastern conference call with reporters.
The congressman's office declined to comment, but his decision to bow out of the race ends months of speculation about who would take over his safe Republican seat if he left Washington. Mitt Romney and Sen. John McCain carried the district by double-digit margins in 2012 and 2008, respectively. A number of GOP state legislators had expressed interest in the seat. Ahead of McKinley's decision, a number of Democrats were lining up to run, but now that it won't be an open seat, it's unlikely they would stand a chance against the three-term congressman.
"At this point in my life, I’m not trying to find a career," McKinley told CQ Roll Call last month when asked about his gubernatorial interests. He said he'd been asking his constituents, particularly those in his native Wheeling, where he could have the biggest impact. "Our town is just -- we’ve just lost so many people and so many jobs. And so is the fight here, to correct those jobs? Or do you correct them from Charleston?"
McKinley's announcement comes the day before state Senate President Bill Cole is expected to make an announcement about his intentions. West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, a Democrat, is term-limited.
Related: Democrat Eyes Rematch in West Virginia's 2nd District Roll Call Race Ratings Map: Ratings for Every House and Senate Race in 2016 Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.