Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) will step down from his position as chairman of the House Republican Conference, he announced on Wednesday.

Pence informed fellow House Republicans in a "Dear Colleague" letter that he would leave his third-ranking position within the House GOP to consider future opportunities — possibly a run for governor, or president.

"I am writing to inform you that, after much prayerful consideration, I have decided not to seek reelection as chairman of the House Republican Conference," Pence said.

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The open position will be the fourth-ranking job in the new House Republican leadership. GOP leader John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerSpeculation mounts, but Ryan’s job seen as safe Boehner warns Trump: Don't pull out of Korea-US trade deal GOP Rep: Ryan wasting taxpayers dollars by blocking war authorization debate MORE (Ohio) will likely become Speaker, and Whip Eric CantorEric CantorEric Cantor offering advice to end ‘immigration wars’ Trump's olive branch differs from the golden eras of bipartisanship After divisive rally, Trump calls for unity MORE (R-Va.) will likely become majority leader.

The Nos. 3 and 4 positions — majority whip and conference chairman — are likely to become the subject of intense jockeying by ambitious House Republicans.

Among the candidates for both jobs are National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (Texas), Chief Deputy Whip Kevin McCarthy (Calif.), Conference Vice Chairwoman Cathy McMorris RodgersCathy McMorris RodgersPolitical decency may triumph despite Trump's DACA decision Ryan calls for 'permanent legislative solution' on DACA Harvey response puts squeeze on GOP MORE (Wash.) and Rep. Michele BachmannMichele Marie BachmannBachmann: Muslim immigrants trying to undermine Western civilization Religious leaders pray over Trump in Oval Office 'Real Housewives' producer 'begging' Conway to join cast MORE (Minn.), who said Tuesday that more than a dozen colleagues had encouraged her to seek Pence's job.

Pence directly cited the new "opportunities" he might pursue as a reason for stepping down.

"As we consider new opportunities to serve Indiana and our nation in the years ahead, I have come to realize that it may not be possible to complete an entire term as conference chairman," he wrote.

Pence is considered a dark-horse contender for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012. He won a key straw poll of social conservative at the Values Voter Summit earlier this year.