Perkins won't challenge Vitter in 2010 -- surprise

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Family Research Council poobah Tony Perkins, who got a bit of ink for publicly mulling a challenge to David Vitter's Senate seat in 2010, is now getting ink for deciding not to do it. WashPo's Chris Cilizza has the story:

This hasn't been a very good week for Louisiana Sen. David Vitter but it's ending on a positive note: Family Research Council president Tony Perkins has decided not to challenge him in next year's Republican primary.

"I am grateful for those who've encouraged me to consider returning to elected office, but this is not the right time," wrote Perkins in a letter to state party chairman Roger Villere. "Along those lines, I would like members of the State Central Committee to know that I support Senator David Vitter's bid for reelection in 2010."....

Democrats have yet to find a top tier candidate. The most commonly mentioned names are Shaw Group CEO Jim Bernhard, former Rep. Don Cazayoux and state Sen. Rob Marioneaux.

Vitter isn't out of the woods by a long shot but Perkins' decision to stay out makes his path -- particularly in the primary -- considerably easier.

...all of which gives credence to the theory that Perkins' considered run was more of a stalking horse than a look at an actual candidacy.

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