Wisconsin Rep. Tammy Baldwin's ambition to become the first openly gay U.S. senator got a boost Thursday with the announcement that Rep. Ron Kind won't seek the Democratic nomination.

In a statement to POLITICO.com, Kind said he has decided to pass on a bid to succeed Senator Herb Kohl.

“I have been urged by many across Wisconsin to run for Senate. I thank them sincerely for their steadfast support and their trust in my commitment to put solving peoples' problems first and foremost.”

“But that commitment has led me to this conclusion: Now is not the time to run for the U.S. Senate,” Kind added.

“At this time a divisive primary contest will not serve the interests of the state or the real needs of families. … Most certainly it will not reduce the hyper partisanship that is needlessly tearing apart our state and our country.”

Baldwin this month became the first Democrat to formally declare her candidacy, becoming the first openly gay Senate candidate with a viable shot at winning.

Baldwin, who has never lost a race but remains untested in a statewide election, faces stiff competition from her GOP rivals, former Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson and former Wisconsin Rep. Mark Neumann. Neumann officially entered the race last month, while Thompson has signaled he will follow. Early polls show that in a contest aginst either candidate, Baldwin would lose.