Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett announced on Channel 10 Wednesday that he will not be challenging Senator Lamar Alexander in next year's Republican primary.
"I enjoy being county mayor. Timing's everything in politics and I think that we're doing a good job in Knox County and there's some other things I'd like to continue. I believe I'll be staying in this position," he said during a live on-air interview with WBIR's John Becker.
Burchett had hinted he was considering a possible run in the past, but never officially confirmed or denied a run for Congress.
The announcement comes as tea party activists are ramping up to challenge Alexander for the Senate seat. Tennessee Rep. Joe Carr officially announced his candidacy in August. The challenge came after Carr claimed Alexander was the "most liberal" of Tennessee's Republican delegation in Washington.
Alexander's campaign has responded to claims he's too liberal by touting the senator's "conservative voting record" and pointing to his National Rifle Association, National Right to Life support and chamber of commerce backing.
The primary will take place in August 2014.