Ken Cuccinelli, who lost the race for governor, says he will not take on U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner, D-Va., in 2014.
The attorney general, who previously said he would not rule out a run and found the idea tempting, disclosed the news Saturday night in an unannounced speech to Republican activists in Hot Springs.
"I don't mind not having an elected role in about a month or so," Cuccinelli said, according to a Politico report. "I've been in office 11 years," the former state senator added.
"I look forward to a little bit of a break ... but I'll be back with you. I'm not talking as a candidate, but just fighting for those principles because I believe in them."
Many GOP activists and reporters had left the annual gathering ahead of Sunday's ice storm, according to Politico. Texas Gov. Rick Perry had canceled his appearance at the dinner and stayed home after declaring a weather-related state of emergency.
Cuccinelli again said his stand against the federal health care law helped him close the gap with Democrat Terry McAuliffe, who prevailed by 2.5 percentage points.
He said Warner must answer for his support of "Obamacare." Cuccinelli previously criticized the Democrat for saying he would not have voted for a health care law that would not let people keep insurance plans they liked.
Millions of Americans who buy insurance as individuals and not through work have had their plans canceled because they do not comply with the law's requirements.
"He lied to Virginians and they're going to be reminded of that for 11 months," Cuccinelli said during his speech at the Homestead resort.
"And by the way, just so you're clear, I'm not running against Mark Warner. I'm making a point."
Gov. Bob McDonnell, who awaits the outcome of federal and state investigations, also has ruled out a run.
State Sen. Jeffrey L. McWaters, R-Virginia Beach, says he is considering a run. Former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie of McLean has also been mentioned as a possibility.
Two little-known Republicans from Northern Virginia have announced. They are Shak Hill, a financial planner and decorated combat pilot, and Howie Lind, a former Navy officer.
If a recount upholds Democrat Mark Herring's narrow win for attorney general, Republicans will hold none of Virginia's five statewide offices for the first time since 1969.
In a luncheon speech to the annual GOP gathering Saturday, U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-7th, told activists that finger-pointing, blame and resentment don't help the party.
"When our party is not united and when we fail to offer a plan that connects with people and the problems they're having, we lose at the ballot box," Cantor said.
In his surprise dinner speech, Cuccinelli then blamed Republicans who did not support him financially down the stretch, when he lacked the money for TV ads in the expensive Washington-area market.
Politico said Cuccinelli fought back tears during the speech. It said he told of a conversation with his finance chairman, Pete Snyder, late in the race.
"I said, 'This wave's really happening. We've just got to raise enough money to buy a surfboard.'
"And we didn't." ___
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Republican gubernatorial candidate, Virginia Attorney General, Ken Cuccinelli, center, answers questions from the media after the Virginia Bar Association convention debate at the Homestead in Hot Springs, Va. Saturday, July 20, 2013. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli, left, gestures during a debate with Democratic challenger Terry McCauliffe, right, during the Virginia Bar Association convention debate at the Homestead in Hot Springs, Va. Saturday, July 20, 2013. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
FILE - In this May 18, 2013 file photo, Virginia Republican Gubernatorial candidate, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli speaks in Richmond, Va. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)
Gubernatorial candidate and current Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, center, pauses his speech to supporters while an airplane makes its way down the runway at the Roanoke Regional Airport Monday, May 20, 2013 in Roanoke. (AP Photo/The Roanoke Times, Kyle Green)
Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli speaks after his nomination as the Republican candidate for governor of Virginia at the Virginia Republican convention in Richmond, Va. on Saturday, May 18, 2013. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
FILE - In this Thursday, June 28, 2012 file photo, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli gestures as he talks about the Supreme Court decision on the Health Care law during a news conference in Richmond, Va. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney stands between Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, right, and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell as he campaigns at Electronic Instrumentation and Technology in Sterling, Va., Wednesday, June 27, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, gets choked up as he announces the exoneration of Thomas Hanesworth, left, during a press conference in Richmond, Va., Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2011. Haynesworth spent 27 years in prison for two 1984 sexual assault convictions. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell speaks during a ceremony on Friday, April 16, 2010 at the Capitol in Richmond, Va., marking the third anniversary of the shootings at Virginia Tech, where 32 people plus the shooter died. State Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, left, listens. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)