Georgia state Sen. Jeff Mullis, R-Chickamauga, said Thursday he regrets that Mike Evans has dropped out of the 9th Congressional District race, but he doesn't want the job himself.
Sen. Mullis, who is chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee, said he's been urged to run and was flattered but will stay put.
9TH DISTRICT CANDIDATES
* Clyde Daniel Benton, Republican
* Mike Freeman, Democrat
* John Thomas Graves Jr., Republican
* B. Lee Hawkins, Republican
* Jeremy Edward Jones, Republican
* Bertil Armin Loftman, Republican
* Edward "Eugene" Moon, Independent
* William Stephens V, Republican
* Thomas Stephen Tarvin, Republican
Source: Federal Election Commission
"Politics is all about timing, and my tenure is still to work for my people in my district," he said. "We'll consider other options in the future, but for now I'm honored to serve the people of Northwest Georgia as their state senator."
Sen. Mullis said he would remain neutral at least until qualifying ends April 30. The primary election is July 20.
Mr. Evans said in a statement Wednesday he has "struggled to hang on financially" and that continuing to campaign full time will cause "irreparable financial harm" to his family.
The former state representative had said he was running to protect homeowners and small businesses from "Obama liberalism."
Mr. Evans stepped down from the state Transportation Board last year after he announced he was dating former Transportation Commissioner Gena Evans. They were married last summer.
U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal vacated the 9th District seat to run for governor.
Staff Writer Andy Johns and The Associated Press contributed to this story.