Louisiana Republican Senator John Kennedy will pass on a bid for governor this fall, opening up the field to a number of other likely contenders.
"I have looked into my heart and decided to remain in the Senate and not to run for governor," Kennedy said in an email. "I just think I can help my state and my country more in the Senate."
Kennedy was easily re-elected last year even though many expected he would run for governor less than a year into his term.
With Kennedy out of the race, Attorney General Jeff Landry is the likely frontrunner for the GOP primary.
Incumbent Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards is prohibited by term limits from running again.
Other candidates are eager to challenge Landry, however. They include GOP Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser, who is expected to announce his run next week, and Treasurer John Schroder, who previously said he would run if Kennedy did not.