(CNN) - Republican Rep. Dave Camp of Michigan has declined to run for the U.S. Senate next year to replace retiring Democratic Sen. Carl Levin.
"After much thought and careful consideration, I have decided not to run for the United States Senate," he said in a statement.
Camp, who had been weighing a bid for the past few months, said he wants to keep representing his constituents in the state's 4th Congressional District and move forward in his role as chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee.
"That includes creating a stronger economy by making the tax code more effective and efficient; opening new markets for American goods services; and, critical oversight of Obamacare and the IRS," the longtime congressman said. Camp was first elected to the House in 1990.
His decision comes after another high-profile GOP congressman, Mike Rogers, decided against running for the Republican nomination in 2014.
Former Michigan secretary of state and Republican National Committee member Terri Lynn Land announced her bid for the seat earlier this summer. But Democrats argue Republicans have failed to recruit a top tier candidate.
"Dave Camp's rejection of national Republicans marks the second embarrassing recruitment failure for the GOP in Michigan and leaves them facing a potentially expensive and damaging primary that will inevitably produce a nominee too extreme for a general election," said Justin Barasky, a spokesman for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.
Democratic Rep. Gary Peters, a three-term congressman whose district includes parts of Detroit, appears to be the most formidable candidate running on the Democratic side. Peters already enjoys the support of Levin, as well as the state's other Democratic senator, Debbie Stabenow.
Republicans, however, point to his 2002 failed attempt for statewide office and his low name recognition.
"It takes a special kind of guy like Peters to ask for a promotion from the very same people that his policies would put out of work," said Brook Hougesen, press secretary at the National Republican Senatorial Committee. "Republicans plan to be competitive in Michigan and have a great opportunity to pick up this seat, moving us closer to taking the majority in 2014."
Two nonpartisan political handicappers, Stuart Rothenberg and Charlie Cook, rate Michigan as "currently safe for Democrats" and "leaning Democratic" in 2014, respectively.
Next year, Democrats will try to maintain their majority in the Senate, where they currently hold a 54-46 edge (including two independents who caucus with the party) over the GOP. They hope to expand that to 55-45 following October's special Senate election in New Jersey, which they are favored to win.
But Democrats most likely will be defending 21 of 35 seats up for grabs in November 2014.
Michigan's governor, Republican Rick Snyder, will also be up for re-election next year.