Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist didn't give a specific reason for dropping out of the 2008 presidential contest. Instead, he quoted the Bible and said "for everything there is a season, and for now, the season of being an elected official has come to a close."

His departure after toying with a race for several months makes him the second GOP official to quietly bow out of contention for a contest that may be the most wide open in years. He plans to return to practicing medicine, a career field he left in 1994 to run for the U.S. Senate.

It's the first White House campaign since 1928 where neither an incumbent president nor vice president is in the mix of contenders.

Sen. Frist joins Virginia's George Allen who self-destructed and lost his Senate re-election bid. Dr. Frist's announcement came as several Republican presidential hopefuls courted GOP governors meeting in Miami.

Left in the GOP fold are frontrunner Sen. John McCain, Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, former New York Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas and Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, Gov. George Pataki of New York; Rep. Duncan Hunter of California; former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

Dr. Frist has hid share of embarrassments in recent years. The Associated Press reports his politics and his medical training collided in 2005 in the case of Terri Schiavo. He was widely criticized for pandering to religious conservatives by injecting himself into the debate over the brain-damaged woman.

He remains under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission on insider trading charges in connection with the sale of shares in HCA, the company founded by Frist's father and brother.

The AP disclosed in August that Frist had not met the continuing medical education requirement needed to remain licensed, although he submitted paperwork to Tennessee officials indicating that he had. He quickly complied with the requirements and retained his license, the AP reported.

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