Stacey Abrams is said to rule out bid for Senate in 2020

Stacey Abrams has informed national Democratic leaders she won’t run for the U.S. Senate in 2020, according to several people with direct knowledge of the discussion.

The decision not to challenge Republican U.S. Sen. David Perdue follows months of speculation about the Democrat’s next political step after her narrow loss in last year’s race for governor.

It triggers a new phase of the Senate race, which has been slow to develop while Abrams has deliberated. She plans to stay neutral in that contest.

She informed U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of her decision Monday, according to the people, who are not authorized to speak publicly. Schumer has aggressively recruited her to run for Senate, though she’s long been reluctant to seek another legislative office.

A spokesman for Abrams declined to comment Monday on the decision, which was first reported by CNN.

>> More details: Stacey Abrams won't run for US Senate in Georgia

>> Video: Watch a video of her announcement.

>> Related: Who is Stacey Abrams? 

>> Related: Stacey Abrams' record

The move opens a new round of scrutiny over whether she will join the growing Democratic presidential field, a possibility that heightened after she delivered her party’s rebuttal to the State of the Union address.

It also leaves open the possibility of Abrams being selected as a running-mate for a White House hopeful. She’s rejected the idea of joining a ticket as a vice presidential candidate in the primary, but has said she’s open to teaming up with a nominee.

If she doesn't make a White House run, Abrams is likely to prepare a 2022 rematch against Gov. Brian Kemp, who bested her by about 55,000 votes in a contest marred by allegations of voter suppression. After 10 days of legal wrangling and vote-counting, Abrams ended her campaign but refused to call it a concession.

Her decision on the Senate race was long awaited by Georgia Democrats, who had grown anxious as her self-imposed timetable to decide on a run slipped from March to late April.

One candidate, former Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson, took the unusual step of filing paperwork to lay the groundwork for a campaign - but said she will run only if Abrams does not. Other potential contenders have waited for Abrams before making their move.

They include Sarah Riggs Amico, the runner-up in last year’s race for lieutenant governor; ex-6th Congressional District candidate Jon Ossoff; and Michelle Nunn, who lost to Perdue in 2014.