(CNN) – Following former Gov. Brian Schweitzer's surprising decision not to run for an open Senate seat next year in Montana, another high profile Democrat from the state has declined to jump into the race.
Stephanie Schriock, the president of EMILY'S List, a group that works to get Democratic women elected to public office, announced Tuesday she will not run for the Senate in 2014.
"Montana raised me, and it will always be my heart. It has been truly incredible to hear from so many folks who believe in me. I would love to say yes, but this is not the right time," she said in a statement.
Schriock added there is "much work to be done" in her current cause, "fighting on behalf of women and standing up against a concerted effort to roll back the clock on our freedoms and opportunities."
"I will always be committed to the people who taught me that those freedoms are something we must keep fighting to protect," her statement continued. "Montana is my home and I will always want to be a part of its future."
A former campaign manager and chief of staff to Sen. Jon Tester of Montana, Schriock has deep ties to her home state's political machine. She also helped run Democrat Al Franken's Senate bid during an expensive, highly competitive Minnesota race in 2008 that ended in a recount, which Franken ultimately won.
Schriock was one of a few Democratic names floating around after Schweitzer, the would-be Democratic frontrunner, decided not to go forward with a campaign bid earlier this month.
Democrats are talking to other names in the state, including Montana Supreme Court Justice Brian Morris and Montana public schools Superintendent Denise Juneau.
The ultimate winner next November will succeed Democratic Sen. Max Baucus, who announced earlier this year he would not seek a seventh term in the Senate.
Schweitzer's decision gave national Republicans hope they could potentially pick up the seat as they attempt to retake control of the Senate. While the seat has long been in Democratic hands, Stuart Rothenberg and Charlie Cook, two nonpartisan political handicappers, rate the Montana Senate race as a toss-up in 2014.