Rep. Paul Ryan will not run for Senate next year.

“Our nation is quickly approaching a debt crisis that will do serious damage to Wisconsinites and all Americans if it is not properly addressed," the Wisconsin Republican said Tuesday. "I believe continuing to serve as chairman of the House Budget Committee allows me to have a greater impact in averting this debt-fueled economic crisis than if I were to run for the United States Senate."

Ryan’s name immediately came up in discussions about the seat being vacated by Sen. Herb Kohl (D). Ryan has risen to national prominence in the past few months as the face of House Republicans’ budget plans.

But Ryan would face a difficult race that, if he won, would leave him a freshman in the Senate instead leading the House Budget Committee. He is expected to have a good shot at becoming Ways and Means chairman in 2013.

Ryan’s decision means former Wisconsin governor Tommy Thompson will probably launch a campaign. Many Republican strategists expect a primary challenge by former congressman Mark Neumann.

On the Democratic side, Reps. Tammy Baldwin and Ron Kind are expected to run.

Rachel Weiner