Reed won't run for Linder's seat

Conservative activist Ralph Reed (R) announced Wednesday he won't run for Rep. John Linder's (R-Ga.) House seat. 

"After much thought and prayer, I have decided not to be a candidate for Congress in Georgia's Seventh district in 2010," Reed said in a statement posted on his organization's website. "I believe I can best advance conservative principles by continuing to serve as CEO of Century Strategies, LLC, and founding chairman of the Faith and Freedom Coalition. Century's voter contact subsidiary and grassroots team will be involved in a number of races in 2010."

Still, he hinted at a future run. "Should that door open in the future, perhaps I will arrive at a different decision," he said.

Linder announced last month he won't seek a 10th House term. His departure touched off a flurry of speculation about possible successors.

There are two Republican candidates already in the race. State Sen. Don Balfour (R) and state Rep. Clay Cox (R) are beginning to make the rounds. They may soon have company, according to Charles Efstration, chairman of the Gwinnett County Republican Party.

"I have received emails from people that are interested in it, a lot of people that haven't been elected to office before," he said recently. "Certainly this is going to be an exciting campaign year."