"While I am flattered by friends from across Georgia who contacted me this weekend and offered their support, running for the U.S. Senate is not in my heart," he said in a statement. "I am at a stage in life where there are simply too many positive distractions — a dozen grandchildren with number 13 on the way, business obligations and a loving and devoted wife who has absolutely no interest in living in Washington, and who could blame her?"

Perdue had not immediately ruled out a bid after Sen. Saxby ChamblissClarence (Saxby) Saxby ChamblissLobbying World Former GOP senator: Let Dems engage on healthcare bill OPINION: Left-wing politics will be the demise of the Democratic Party MORE (R-Ga.) announced he would retire at the end of his term. The former governor is the only Republican with a statewide base of political support in a race that's likely to have numerous candidates, and his decision likely means a free-for-all GOP primary, as most of the state's Republican congressmen are eyeing the race.