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Westmoreland, Reed Opt Out of Ga. Senate Race Westmoreland, Reed Opt Out of Ga. Senate Race

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Westmoreland, Reed Opt Out of Ga. Senate Race

The seemingly ever-widening field of potential candidates for the open Senate seat in Georgia narrowed by two on Monday, with Republican Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, and Atlanta Democratic Mayor Kasim Reed both opting out of the race.

Westmoreland, who had been considering a run to succeed retiring GOP Sen. Saxby Chambliss, said in a statement on Monday that after discussing the potential bid with his family, he has decided instead to run for reelection to the House.

"I am honored to be serving as the U.S. Congressman for Georgia's Third District. I look forward to continuing my work in that role, as well as in my new roles with the Financial Services Committee and at the National Republican Campaign Committee [sic], and working to advance the principles of limited government and personal responsibility," he said.

Meanwhile, Reed told MSNBC this morning that he too is taking a pass on the Senate race. Reed is up for reelection this year and has said that he would like to serve a second full term as mayor before looking at higher office, but he had yet to comment specifically on Chambliss' seat.

Even with Westmoreland and Reed out, the list of potential candidates remains long. Westmoreland's fellow Republican Reps. Paul Broun, Jack Kingston, Tom Price, Phil Gingrey and Tom Graves are all mulling bids for the seat.

Broun is expected to announce his candidacy on Wednesday, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. His office would not confirm the report but said that a decision is coming "shortly."

Broun reported having around $155,000 on hand at the end of December, putting him at a significant disadvantage when compared with many of his House colleagues. Gingrey leads the delegation with $1.9 million in the bank, followed by Price with $1.6 million and Kingston with nearly $988,000. Graves trails the rest with just $55,000.

Former Secretary of State Karen Handel and Lt. Gov. Casey Cagel, both Republicans, have also been mentioned as potential candidates.

The Democratic field is much narrower, with most of the speculation focused on Rep. John Barrow. Barrow has said that he hasn't given the seat any thought -- but hasn't ruled it out either. Reed floated former Atlanta Chief Operating Office Peter Aman as a potential candidate, as well.

So far, no candidates have officially entered the race.

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