Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) will not make a bid for the Senate, he announced late Friday, a decision that comes after months of consideration and throws wide open the race for the Republican nomination.

King announced his decision on Twitter, saying a Senate race would take him out of "urgent battles" in Congress that cannot wait until after the 2014 election.

Had King run, he would have been the odds-on favorite for the Republican nomination. But some Republicans, including Gov. Terry Branstad, had expressed concerns the congressman wouldn't be a good fit for the general election. King is an outspoken and staunchly conservative Republican with a knack for stoking controversy with his remarks.