Democrat Evan Bayh, a former governor and U.S. senator, said Friday he won't make a run in 2016 for a return to Indiana's top office.
Bayh said in a written statement that he has decided not to run for governor, after seriously considering it.
"I hope that my decision will enable others to step forward and offer their ideas for making Indiana an even better place to live, work and raise a family," Bayh said.
Bayh, who was governor from 1989 to 1997, had previously said factors he was considering included the strong Republican hold on the state Legislature and whether his style of leadership would be effective.
Bayh, 59, retired from the Senate in 2010 after easily winning election for two terms. His campaign fund still had nearly $10 million in it at the end of June.
His discussion of possibly returning to Indiana and run for governor had put other possible Democratic candidates in limbo. Former Indiana House Speaker John Gregg, who lost a narrow race to Republican Gov. Mike Pence in 2012, and Hammond Mayor Tom McDermott have discussed seeking the 2016 Democratic nomination.
Bayh had said he put off discussions with his wife about whether leave Washington to re-enter Indiana politics until after his twin sons left to start college last month.
"I remain committed to helping Hoosiers and the state I love," Bayh said in his statement. "There are many ways to help people and serve the public, and I look forward to pursuing them in the days and years to come."