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 BoehnerFormer top Treasury official to head private equity group GOP strategist Steve Schmidt denounces party, will vote for Democrats Zeal, this time from the center MORE (Ohio) will likely become Speaker, and Whip Eric CantorEric Ivan CantorThe Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by CVS Health — Trump’s love-hate relationship with the Senate Race for Republican Speaker rare chance to unify party for election Scalise allies upset over Ryan blindside on McCarthy endorsement 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 RodgersThe Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by PhRMA — Immigration drama grips Washington The Hill's 12:30 Report Will guns be an issue in midterms? You can bet on it in these districts MORE (Wash.) and Rep. Michele BachmannMichele Marie BachmannYes, condemn Roseanne, but ignoring others is true hypocrisy Bachmann won't run for Franken's Senate seat because she did not hear a 'call from God' Billboard from ‘God’ tells Michele Bachmann not to run for Senate 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.