OTTAWA – Bob Rae has announced that he will not be jumping in the race for the Liberal party leadership.

He spoke, Wednesday, in the foyer of the House of Commons.

Rae said he thought about this for a long time and felt a lot of pressure to run, but in the end he decided he is not throwing his name into the hat.

“I think it’s best for the party and I think it’s a decision that I feel very comfortable with,” he explained.

Rae denied any suggestion that age, health, or family played any factor. He said he can better serve Liberals in his current role, by focusing on rebuilding the party.

When asked if he would run again as a Toronto MP in 2015, Rae did not commit.

“That’s something obviously there’s a new leader coming along he may want to open up a seat. I don’t know, there’s a lot of possibilities,” said Rae.

The former Ontario premier has led the party since the aftermath of the 2011 election, in which Michael Ignatieff lost his seat and then quit as leader. He was considered a top contender, so with him backing out, the race is wide open.

David McGuinty and Marc Garneau are openly considering their options.

Justin Trudeau has said no but says he is receiving a lot of pressure to change his mind.

“Honestly I don’t know. I am continuing to say no but I won’t lie to you, I’m under a lot of pressure to reconsider. I haven’t yet but I am under a lot of pressure,” he told 680News in Toronto.

Trudeau said he wants to focus on being with his two young children.

The Liberal leadership convention will be held in April 2013.