Despite reports that former Chattanooga Chamber President Ron Harr picked up papers for the open District 26 state House seat, Ron Harr said Thursday he’s not running for the office.

Harr, who is also a former BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee executive, said in an email that he was out of the state when he heard that Rep. Gerald McCormick was not seeking re-election

So—to keep his options open—he asked a friend to pick up papers for him.

He also said:

I am not a political insider so I didn’t know who was going to run. Often when a political seat is vacated on short notice, an opportunity is created for a citizen-legislator.

I wanted to make sure that a moderate candidate was on the ballot in this moderate district. I love my city and I would be honored to represent my home district in Nashville.

In the time since my papers were picked up, I learned that if I run, the FCC rules on “Equal Time” will force me to resign from my volunteer job as the host of a public television series on public health, which I am very passionate about.

Therefore, after considerable thought, I have decided that I will not run.

This week, former chairman of both the county and state Republican Party Robin Smith announced she’s seeking the District 26 seat, according to the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Democrats David Jones and Jean-Marie Lawrence are Democrats on the primary ballot.

The primary election is Aug. 2.

The Hamilton County Election Commission has a list of offices on the ballot.