Frist: "I do not intend to run for President in 2008"

Washington (WVLT/AP) – Tennessee's Senator-Doctor has announced that he will be leaving the political arena and returning to a life of healing.

In a written release Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist says he has no intentions to run for President in 2008.

“In the Bible, God tells us for everything there is a season, and for me, for now, this season of being an elected official has come to a close. I do not intend to run for President in 2008," Frist said in the release.

Dr. Frist says a quote from his father, "there is so much good to do in the world and so many ways to do it," has been a guiding force in his life years, from medicine to politics. The Senator says he plans to return to medicine.

"In the short term, I will resume my regular medical mission trips as a doctor around the world to serve those in poverty, in famine, and in civil war. I will continue to be a strong voice to fix what is broken in our health care system and to address the issues of clean water and public health globally."

Frist says he plans to remain active in public policy as it affects the lives of Americans and the health care system.

The field of White House contenders continues to shrink more than a year before the first convention delegates are chosen.

Frist's decision caps a 12-year stint in electoral politics in which he rose from an underdog in his 1994 Senate campaign to the position of Majority Leader a mere eight years later.