Southwest Florida voters won’t find Chauncey Goss’ name on the ballot this April.
Goss, a Sanibel Island Republican, announced Monday he would not run in the upcoming special election to fill the vacant District 19 congressional seat. The seat was left vacant last week when former U.S. Rep. Trey Radel, R-Fort Myers, resigned.
“There is no more noble calling than public service. I am mindful of, and grateful to, all those who have invested their confidence and their faith in me. Of course I am humbled by the kind words of encouragement I have received across SW Florida,” he said in a statement.
“After careful thought and discussion with my family, I am announcing that I will not be a candidate in this upcoming special election. As a husband and a father, my responsibility to my family must at this time take priority over the level of commitment required to properly serve as our Representative in Congress.”
Goss was the second highest vote getter in the 2012 primary. He received 16,005 votes, or 21.5 percent of the vote. Radel, by comparison, received 22,304 votes, or 30 percent of the vote.
Goss is the son of Porter Goss, a former U.S. representative from Southwest Florida and the former director of the CIA.
He is no stranger to Washington, D.C., having spent the majority of the last decade working on federal fiscal policy, first in the National Security Division at the Office of Management and Budget where he helped prepare defense budgets.
From there, he went to work as the deputy staff director for the House budget committee where he worked closely with Wisconsin Republican Rep. Paul Ryan.
In 2012, Ryan endorsed Goss in the primary election. He even came to Southwest Florida in the waning days of the campaign to stump for Goss.
In a statement Monday, Goss said he seriously considered entering the race to replace Radel, but ultimately decided against it.
“I believe our country is on a dangerous course because it spends too much, taxes too much and does not focus adequately on promoting the kind of economic growth we need to ensure our economic well-being both now and in the future,” he said.
Goss is the latest in a series of likely contenders who have said they won’t run in 2014.
Gary Aubuchon, a Cape Coral Republican, said he did not plan to run again in 2014. Aubuchon came in fourth in the six-man primary.
So too has former U.S. Rep. Connie Mack, R-Fort Myers. In a statement last week, Mack said he would seek his old seat and instead planned to “continue to advocate for our shared principles” as a private citizen.
Mack gave up his seat to run for United States Senate. He lost to Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson in November.
While Goss is out, the special Republican primary is expected to be a crowded field. Six Republicans, including former state Rep. Paige Kreegel, R-Punta Gorda and Estero, who came in third in the 2012 primary, have already thrown their hat in the race.
More Republicans are expected to make a decision in the coming days, including state Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto, R-Fort Myers. Benacquisto was in Washington, D.C., last week meeting with conservative leaders and has said she is considering a 2014 congressional bid.