- Associated Press - Thursday, January 23, 2014

McLEAN, Va. (AP) - Republican state Sen. Richard Black says he has decided against making a run for Congress to fill the seat being vacated by Frank Wolf.

Black, a conservative from Loudoun County, had been considering a run. But he released a statement Wednesday night saying he feels a need to stay in the Senate - Republicans hold exactly half of the 40 seats in the chamber, and he expressed concern that vacating the seat could hurt his party.

The race to succeed Wolf, who was first elected in 1980, is expected to be one of the most hotly contested in the nation and is considered a top opportunity for Democrats to pick up a seat.

Republican Barbara Comstock and Democrat John Foust are among those who have already announced bids.

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