Texas Republican Kay Bailey Hutchison has decided to stay in the Senate after losing the primary election for governor.

A senior GOP official and a Senate aide tell The Associated Press that Hutchison, who is 66, will serve out her third term, which ends in 2012. She had previously said she would resign her seat.

The decision announced in San Antonio comes after 20 Texas Republican House members signed a letter last month urging her to stay in the Senate. Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell and Sen. John Cornyn of Texas were with Hutchison at the news conference.

Hutchison lost the Republican primary race for governor earlier this month to Gov. Rick Perry, who now faces Democrat Bill White in the November general election.