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Bass decides against US Senate run in 2014, cites business and personal responsibilities

Former U.S. Rep. Charlie Bass has decided not to run for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen next year.

The Republican former seven-term U.S. House member cited "current personal and professional responsibilities."

Bass made his interest in the Senate seat known about a month ago. As recently as last week, he visited Capitol Hill and spoke with Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, as well as National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Sen. Jerry Moran, and said he received positive feedback.

But Monday morning, Bass put out the following statement:

"After much thought and several discussions with my family, friends and colleagues, I have decided that I will not be a candidate for U.S. Senate in 2014.

"Though I am confident that a strong Republican nominee will defeat Democrat Jeanne Shaheen next year, my current personal and professional responsibilities preclude my candidacy. I sincerely thank all who have called, emailed or encouraged me in person to run."

Bass added, "This decision does not mean that I am retiring from politics. I have worked hard over the years to support the New Hampshire Republican Party -- recruiting candidates, raising funds, and generally cheering all other Republican candidates regardless of differences in views on particular issues. I will continue to do so, and will always work to support the principles of smaller government, less spending, lower taxes, free enterprise to create good jobs and a strong economy."

Bass decision leaves former state Sen. Jim Rubens and conservative activist Karen Testerman as the only major announced Republican candidates for the Senate seat.

Former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown has not ruled out establishing residency in the state and running.

Shaheen, meanwhile, has been actively raising money for her reelection big. She was first elected to the Senate in 2008 and also served three terms as governor.

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