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 BoehnerPelosi and Trump go a full year without speaking Jordan vows to back McCarthy as leader even if House loses more GOP seats On The Trail: How Trump lost the law and order debate MORE (Ohio) will likely become Speaker, and Whip Eric CantorEric Ivan CantorSpanberger's GOP challenger raises over .8 million in third quarter The Hill's Campaign Report: Florida hangs in the balance Eric Cantor teams up with former rival Dave Brat in supporting GOP candidate in former district 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 RodgersConservatives seize on New York Post story to push Section 230 reform Race heats up for top GOP post on powerful Energy and Commerce Committee Hillicon Valley: Trump backs potential Microsoft, TikTok deal, sets September deadline | House Republicans request classified TikTok briefing | Facebook labels manipulated Pelosi video MORE (Wash.) and Rep. Michele BachmannMichele Marie BachmannEvangelicals shouldn't be defending Trump in tiff over editorial Mellman: The 'lane theory' is the wrong lane to be in White House backs Stephen Miller amid white nationalist allegations 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.