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updated 1/9/2009 8:06:12 PM ET 2009-01-10T01:06:12

MSNBC political commentator Chris Matthews has told his colleagues he won't be leaving television to run for a U.S. Senate seat from Pennsylvania.

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MSNBC spokesman Jeremy Gaines says Matthews told the staff of his "Hardball" show Wednesday that he's not going to run for the seat against Republican Sen. Arlen Specter in 2010.

There's been speculation that Matthews would challenge Specter, and there have been published reports that Matthews has privately discussed the possibility.

(Msnbc.com is a joint venture of Microsoft and NBC Universal.)

The 63-year-old Matthews is a Philadelphia native. He ran for a northeast Philadelphia congressional seat in 1974 but lost the Democratic primary.

Matthews also has worked as an aide on Capitol Hill.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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