U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss announced on Friday that he is not seeking re-election in 2014.
“This is about frustration, both at a lack of leadership from the White House and at the dearth of meaningful action from Congress, especially on issues that are the foundation of our nation’s economic health," Chambliss said in a statement. "The debt-ceiling debacle of 2011 and the recent fiscal-cliff vote showed Congress at its worst and, sadly, I don’t see the legislative gridlock and partisan posturing improving anytime soon.
"For our nation to be strong, for our country to prosper, we cannot continue to play politics with the American economy.
Chambliss said he was confident he would have won re-election had he decided to seek another term.
Georgia has not had a Democratic U.S. senator since Chambliss defeated one-term incumbent Max Cleland in 2002.
Some have speculated that Democratic Congressman John Lewis could be a viable candidate, and pundits have mused about Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed's possible interest in higher office.
On the Republican side, the name of former state representative and 2012 presidential candidate Newt Gingrinch immediately surfaced Friday, but his camp quickly squashed the notion that Gingrich would run for Senate. So did fellow 2012 presidential candidate Herman Cain, who said he's focusing on his new WSB radio show.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Republican House members Paul Broun of Athens and Tom Price of Roswell had considered mounting challenges to Chambliss in the next primary.
Though Georgia has been seen as a safe Red state in recent years, some experts said the race for the Chambliss seat could be competetive.
Ari Fleischer, former Former White House Press Secretary for U.S. President George W. Bush, told CNN that Georgia is a "pretty safe but not totally safe" state for Republicans. Donna Brazile, Vice Chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, said said she expects Georgia democrats to mount a "credible" nominee.
Who would you like to see run for the Senate seat in 2014? Do you think a Democrat has a shot at capturing the seat? Share your thoughts and suggestions in the comments section below.