WASHINGTON – Sen. Richard Lugar, a heavyweight in U.S. foreign policy, intends to stay in the Senate despite speculation the Indiana Republican may be the next secretary of state, said a spokesman on Monday.
    
“He’s been very clear that he won’t be serving in any administration, that he likes his current job and will stay put,” Lugar spokesman Andy Fisher said in an email.
 
Lugar, 76, has been mentioned as a  possible secretary of state for Democrat Barack Obama as well as previous candidates. He is the Republican leader on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee where Obama’s running mate, Joe Biden, is the chairman.

The Indiana lawmaker also was mentioned as a possible Cabinet member or running mate for Republican presidential hopeful John McCain.
 
Lugar has worked for years on nuclear nonproliferation and visited Georgia after its brief war with Russia in August. He briefly ran for the 1996 Republican nomination for president. He was elected to his sixth term in the Senate in 2006.

- Photo credit: Reuters/Adrees Latif (Lugar in Tbilisi, Georgia in August.)