(KMSP) - Former Minnesota Gov.Tim Pawlenty says he will not run in November's special election for the United States Senate.
"I'm very interested in public service and service for the common good -- there are a lot of different ways to do that -- but running for the United States Senate in 2018 will not be part of those plans," Pawlenty told Fox Business on Tuesday.
The special election is being held to to fill Sen. Al Franken's seat, who resigned earlier this month following allegations of sexual misconduct. Gov. Mark Dayton appointed Lt. Gov. Tina Smith to replace him in the U.S. Senate.
Smith has announced she will run in November's special election. The winner of the election will serve out the remainder of Franken's term until 2020.
Pawlenty's name has been floated as a possible Republican challenger for Smith. He served as the governor of Minnesota from 2003-2011 and was the last Republican and ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012. He is currently the CEO of Financial Service Roundtable, a Washington, D.C.-based financial industry advocacy organization.
"If anybody is going to run for the United States Senate this November, that's now only 10 or 11 months away and it's going to be a very competitive race in a tough state for a Republican," Pawlenty said. "So, you'd have to start very soon and like I said, I'm interested in continuing to serve, but there is a variety of ways to do that and running for U.S. Senate this year won't be one of them."