Former Rep. Bass won't challenge Jeanne Shaheen in 2014

Former Republican Rep. Charlie Bass will not challenge Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) in 2014, he announced on Monday, leaving Republicans still searching for a high-profile candidate to run in the state's senate race.

Bass cited "personal and professional responsibilities" as the reason he's declining a run.

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“After much thought and several discussions with my family, friends and colleagues, I have decided that I will not be a candidate for U.S. Senate in 2014. Though I am confident that a strong Republican nominee will defeat Democrat Jeanne Shaheen next year, my current personal and professional responsibilities preclude my candidacy," he said in a statement.
 
Bass, who served seven terms spread over 18 years, said his decision not to run in 2014 doesn't mean he's retiring from politics altogether.

After "work[ing] hard" for Republicans in New Hampshire, "I will continue to do so, and will always work to support the principles of smaller government, less spending, lower taxes, free enterprise to create good jobs and a strong economy," he said.

Shaheen, though considered potentially vulnerable by Republicans in 2014, has yet avoided drawing a strong challenger. Former state Sen. Jim Rubens and conservative activist Karen Testerman are both running, but neither are considered top-tier candidates — and a number of others, including state Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley, have also declined.

One prominent potential contender, former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown (R), is still making up his mind on a run but recently launched a New Hampshire-based PAC and through it gave $10,000 to the state GOP.