Gayle Harrell will not run against U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy

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One Republican will not seek one of the most targeted congressional seats in the country, reports George Bennett in The Palm Beach Post.

State Rep. Gayle Harrell declined to bid for U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy’s District 18, ending months of speculation.

Murphy narrowly defeated Tea Party activist Rep. Allen West in 2012, making the Palm Beach-Treasure Coast district only one of nine Democratic seats to succeed in a district that went to Mitt Romney in the presidential race. Since then, the seat has been a leading GOP target for 2014.

“Thank you to those who encouraged me to run for the U.S. Congress,” Harrell said in a statement. “Your faith and belief in me is truly humbling. However, I believe Tallahassee is where I will have the biggest impact and make the most difference for you and our community,” She also said she would launch a re-election campaign for her state House seat.

Three other Republicans have said they would run for District 18 — former Jupiter state Rep. Carl Domino, Juno Beach Councilwoman Ellen Andel and former Connecticut GOP Senate nominee Alan Schlesinger. Former state House Majority Leader Adam Hasner is also considering a run.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.