Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.) will not run in the special election to fill the seat of retiring Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), he announced Wednesday. Bridenstine's decision is a blow to conservative groups who wanted to see him run.

"After giving this matter serious consideration and prayer, my family and I have decided I will not run in the special election to complete Dr. Coburn’s term," he said in a statement.

The Senate Conservatives Fund and the Madison Project had been touting the prospect of a Bridenstine run.

Rep. James Lankford (R) is already in the race, and state House Speaker T.W. Shannon (R) is expected to announce his candidacy on Wednesday.