"I'm going to say that I'm probably not going to run," Duke said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press from prison in Texas. "I have not made any final decision, but I've gotten lots of really fine letters suggesting that I do run because they are so disappointed by the way the Republican Party is going."
Duke, a former state representative, was sentenced to 15 months in prison and fined $10,000 for mail and tax fraud. He could be released to a halfway house in New Orleans or Baton Rouge in mid-April.
Duke has shown an interest in the U.S. House seat now held by Republican Rep. David Vitter (search). Vitter has said he is running for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by John Breaux, a Democrat.
Duke said he is leaning against running for the seat in part because he plans a speaking tour this summer.
"I'm going to speak out very strongly about the lies and deception of this war," Duke said, referring to the conflict in Iraq. "It was a war for Israel, not this country, and I think this is becoming very obvious to a lot of people."
He said he also plans to return to Europe and teach. Duke lived in Moscow, Italy and Ukraine before he returned to the United States to enter negotiations on a plea agreement at the end of 2002.
Duke spent one term in the Louisiana House in the late 1980s. After that, he lost elections for the U.S. Senate in 1990 and governor in 1991.