BOSTON (AP) - Former Bush White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card said Friday he will not seek the Senate seat left vacant last month by the death of Edward Kennedy.
Card, who served in the White House under former President George W. Bush during some of the administration's toughest moments including the decision to go to war in Iraq, said in a statement that the decision is in the best interest of his family. His decision was announced just hours after Democratic Rep. Edward Markey said he also won't jump into the race to succeed Kennedy.
Card was the highest-profile Massachusetts Republican to consider jumping into the special election. A second potential GOP candidate, state Sen. Scott Brown, had said he'd drop his campaign if Card jumped in.
"Now is not the right time for me to enter a political race," Card said in a statement. "In these critical times, I know that Massachusetts would be well served to have Senator Scott Brown as the Common-wealth's next United States Senator. He has my full support."
Brown scheduled a news conference for today.
Card, 62, is perhaps best remembered to most Americans as the White House aide who whispered in Bush's ear on Sept. 11, 2001 that a second plane had struck the World Trade Center in New York and that America was under attack.