A handful of Texas Republicans are already in the race for retiring Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison's (R-Texas) seat, but political observers have been waiting on Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst to join them and officially claim the frontrunner mantle.

His entry into the race was seen as all but certain and Republicans in the state have already begun to line up to run for lieutenant governor. But in a radio interview Monday, Dewhurst said he could wait until 2014 and make a run for governor.

"I need to make a decision in June whether I'm going to run for the U.S. Senate in 2012 or stay right where I am and run for governor in 2014," Dewhurst said Sunday in an interview with KXAN-TV.

Dewhurst staying out of the race would be a boon to the rest of the crowded field, which is already jockeying for early position.

If Dewhurst, who has the ability to self-fund his campaign, decides not to get in the Senate race, another candidate with deep pockets could benefit. So far, former Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert has the early fundraising edge, hauling in $1.1 million during the first quarter and loaning his campaign another $1.6 million.  

Former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz also posted a strong quarter, raising more than $1 million during the first three months of the year. Former Railroad Commissioner Michael Williams pulled in nearly $500,000. 

- updated at 5:50 p.m.