Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) said Tuesday that he will not be a candidate for U.S. Senate in 2016, squelching speculation that he might run for the seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.)

O’Malley, who has been weighing a 2016 White House bid, said in a statement that he is “hopeful and confident that very capable public servants with a desire to serve in the Senate will step up as candidates for this important office.”

“I will not be one of them,” O’Malley said.

The announcement comes a day after Mikulski made a surprise announcement, setting off a wave of speculation about who will seek to replace her. O’Malley made no official comment Monday.

The former governor has said he will decide by spring whether to move forward with a bid for the Democratic primary nomination that would likely pit him against Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Despite the long odds, some associates said Monday that he is better suited for an executive position than a legislative one.

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