Former Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.) won't run for his old House seat, a relief for some Republican strategists.

Rehberg, who lost a 2012 race to Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.), had been mulling an attempted return to Congress. But he tells the Ravalli Republic via text that he wants to "focus on family, friends and business for awhile," seemingly ruling out a run.


Republicans had been nervous about a Rehberg run — his unfavorable numbers were driven up dramatically in his unsuccessful 2012 race, and he'd proven to be a less-than-stellar campaigner against Tester.

Still, some GOP strategists are nervous about holding Montana's sole House seat now that freshman Rep. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) is running for the Senate.

A half-dozen Republicans are already running or planning to run for the seat, creating a crowded primary field with little certainty. Democrats, meanwhile, have united around John Lewis, a former staffer to Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.).