Rep. Jim BridenstineJames (Jim) Frederick BridenstineWeek ahead: Arctic drilling measure nears finish line Overnight Regulation: Justice, AT&T trade accusations over CNN sale | House panel approves bill to boost drilling on federal lands | Senate advances Trump EPA air nominee Overnight Tech: Feds, AT&T trade accusations over CNN sale | Ex-Yahoo CEO grilled over breach | Senate panel approves sex trafficking bill MORE (R-Okla.), a Tea Party favorite, will not run for Sen. Tom CoburnThomas (Tom) Allen CoburnRepublicans in Congress shouldn't try to bring back earmarks Republicans should know reviving earmarks is a political nightmare Former GOP senator: Trump has a personality disorder MORE's (R-Okla.) seat, he announced Wednesday morning.

"Since Dr. Tom Coburn’s retirement announcement, I have been honored and overwhelmed by encouragement to succeed him as Oklahoma's senator," he said in a statement. "After giving this matter serious consideration and prayer, my family and I have decided I will not run in the special election to complete Dr. Coburn's term."

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The Hill first reported Tuesday evening that Bridenstine had decided against a bid.

His decision deprives national conservative groups their preferred candidate for the race. The Senate Conservatives Fund and the Madison Project had been openly lobbying for him to run, and the Club for Growth has expressed concerns about Rep. James Lankford (R-Okla.), who is already in the race.

Bridenstine's decision leaves a likely head-to-head matchup between Lankford and Oklahoma House Speaker T.W. Shannon (R).