The potential field to replace retiring Senator Saxby Chambliss winnowed again this morning, with former Governor Sonny Perdue opting to take his name out of consideration.

“While I am flattered by friends from across Georgia who contacted me this weekend and offered their support, running for the U.S. Senate is not in my heart,” he said in a statement. “I am at a stage in life where there are simply too many positive distractions – a dozen grandchildren with number 13 on the way, business obligations and a loving and devoted wife who has absolutely no interest in living in Washington, and who could blame her?”

Perdue joins former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and radio host turned presidential candidate turned radio host Herman Cain on the list of those declining to make a bid for the seat.

First elected in 2002 with an upset victory over former Governor Roy Barnes, and subsequently re-elected in a 2006 landslide, Perdue was the Peach State’s first Republican chief executive since Reconstruction. He also served as chairman of the Republican Governor’s Association during his tenure.

-Brandon Howell