Former Michigan Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R) has decided not to challenge Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) next year.

Hoekstra, who made a failed bid for the GOP gubernatorial nod last cycle, called it a "difficult decision."

"Diane and I are sincerely grateful for all of you who expressed your opinions and offered your prayer [and] support as we contemplated our opportunities," he said in a statement. "The people of Michigan are absolutely awesome."  

He went on to thank Gov. Rick Snyder (R), who bested the former lawmaker in the primary last year.

"While we have decided as a family to not enter this race, we are confident that the Republican candidate for Senate can win in November 2012," he added.

Republican Randy Hekman, a former county judge, is the only Republican candidate to announce for Senate. Former Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land and former state GOP Chairman Saul Anuzis are mulling bids.

Stabenow raised more than $1 million for her reelection bid last quarter and now has some $3 million banked.