Paul Ryan won't run for US Senate

May 17, 2011 - 10:59 AM

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — House Budget Committee Chairman U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan says he will not run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by retiring Democrat Herb Kohl.

Ryan said in a statement on his website Tuesday that he feels he can have a bigger impact by remaining in his current position rather than running for the Senate next year.

Ryan's decision not to run may open the door to a bid by former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson. Two Republicans tell The Associated Press that Thompson was considering running with Ryan out of the race. The people requested anonymity because they are not authorized to speak for Thompson.

Kohl announced on Friday that he would not seek a fifth term next year.

Ryan has represented Wisconsin's 1st congressional district since 1999.

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Associated Press writer Henry C. Jackson contributed to this report.