The ex-lawmaker says it is not the right time for him to seek the GOP nomination in 2006.

Former U.S.  Rep. J.C. Watts announced Tuesday  that he will not seek the Republican  nomination for governor next year.

“I have determined that the timing  for such an adventure is not right at  this point in our lives, and that I will  not enter the race for the Republican  nomination for governor in 2006,”  Watts said.

Considered a key Republican contender for the top office in state government, Watts said he made the decision after consultation with his  family.

“It’s been extremely difficult trying to come to this conclusion, simply because I do think I could win,” Watts said. “I don’t think it would be easy, but if it was easy, everybody would be doing it.”

In an Oklahoma Poll in late June,  Watts drew 33.9 percent to incumbent  Democrat Brad Henry’s 48.5 percent  with 17.6 percent undecided, in a  mock gubernatorial race.

The Oklahoma Poll is cosponsored  by the Tulsa World and KOTV, Channel 6. The survey, conducted of 750  registered voters statewide by Oklahoma City-based, has a margin  of error of 3.6 percent.

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