Boston Gov. Mitt Romney announced Wednesday that he will not seek a second term in 2006, ending months of speculation and clearing his way for a possible run for the Republican nomination for president in 2008.
Noting that he had promised to make his intentions known before the official start of winter next week, Romney called a 6 p.m. news conference at the statehouse to declare: "I will not be a candidate for re-election."
With his wife, Ann, by his side, Romney refused to say if he would seek his party's nomination for president.
"With regards to what happens down the road, we'll let the future take care of itself," said Romney, who made a fortune as a venture capitalist before turning to politics.
Romney, 58, recently was elected to lead the Republican Governors' Assn. He has traveled extensively out of state in recent months, including trips to Iowa and New Hampshire - key presidential primary states.