Former Rep. Charlie Bass (R-N.H.) has formed an exploratory committee to run for the seat he lost in 2006, according to local reports.

This is good news for the GOP, which since Bass's exit hasn't been able to recruit a top-tier candidate to run for Rep. Paul Hodes's (D-N.H.) seat. Now, with Hodes running for Senate, the open seat should become a top GOP pickup opportunity.

Bass had been weighing a Senate run as well, so this decision should serve as some good news to state Attorney General Kelly Ayotte (R), the presumed GOP frontrunner for Senate. Still, a bevy of potential challengers are weighing the race against her, including former gubernatorial nominee Ovide Lamontagne and Republican National Commiteeman Sean Mahoney.

Also, Jennifer Horn, the 2008 GOP nominee against Hodes, told the New Hampshire Union-Leader that Bass's decision won't discourage her from running for the seat again.

Bass insists he's not a candidate quite yet

“I am not a candidate for Congress, but I have decided to move to the next level," Bass told the Union-Leader.