Kuhl wasn't seen as a strong potential special election candidate, and his exit clears the way, at least momentarily, for Corning Mayor Tom Reed.

Kuhl narrowly lost to Democrat Eric Massa in 2008. Massa resigned Monday amid allegations of sexual misconduct.

Kuhl said he will support Reed.

Here is Kuhl's statement: "Over the last week, I have heard from hundreds of my former constituents urging me to run for my old congressional seat. Their emotional plea to me was humbling and most appreciative. But, after careful consideration, I have decided to forego a run for Congress. I want to sincerely thank everyone who has supported me during my 28 years of public service. I look forward to helping the 29th District in any way that I can and I urge my neighbors and friends to support Tom Reed for this congressional."