Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes says she won’t run for governor or any other statewide office this year.
In a statement released Monday, Grimes said that she had been considering a campaign to become Kentucky’s second female governor but ended speculation that she would do so.
“While I am grateful for the confidence, support and friendship from thousands of supporters across this state, I have decided not to run another statewide campaign this year,” Grimes said.
“I want to focus on Ford, the miracle baby boy Andrew and I prayed so hard for, complete the historic and momentous work we began nearly eight years ago in the office of the Secretary of State, and help elect a new era of leadership locally and nationally.”
Grimes, a Democrat, was first elected to be secretary of state in 2011 and was reelected to the office in 2015. She lost a race for one of Kentucky’s U.S. Senate seats in 2014 to longtime incumbent Mitch McConnell.
She gave birth to her first child last month.
Saying that “our often male-dominated government needs the perspectives of more women and mothers,” Grimes left the door open for a future run for office.
“I look forward to returning to public service in the future,” Grimes said.
So far, all of the candidates running for Kentucky governor are men. On the Democratic side, Attorney General Andy Beshear, House minority leader Rocky Adkins, former state auditor Adam Edelen and retired state engineer Geoff Young have launched campaigns.
Republican Gov. Matt Bevin has said he will seek reelection and so far has drawn several primary challengers — state Rep. Robert Goforth of East Bernstadt, truck driver Bryan Messenger and William Woods of Corinth who has worked as an account manager in contract security.
An ethics panel issued an advisory opinion saying that Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes can’t run for statewide office and serve as the chair of the bipartisan board that oversees elections.