Ky. State Auditor Adam Edelen bows out of race for governor - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Ky. State Auditor Adam Edelen bows out of race for governor

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Ky. State Auditor Adam Edelen Ky. State Auditor Adam Edelen

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WDRB) -- In what could be considered a seismic shift in the landscape of the Kentucky governor's race, State Auditor Adam Edelen has announced that he will not be running for the 2015 Democratic nomination.

Edelen was a potential top contender, but he said that in the end, staying out is best for his family -- at least for now.

"We had done all the things that you need to do to be able to run an aggressive campaign that has a real chance of winning," said Edelen. "But at the end of the day, I have to make personal considerations."

Edelen is married with 8-year-old twin sons. He says he did not want to sacrifice his family to run for governor.

"I have had the opportunity to be intimately involved in a number of governor's races, and there's just no comparison between a governor's race and other campaign in Kentucky," he said. "At this stage of my life, I'd rather spend the next 18 months coaching little league and catching crooks than I would worrying about my name recognition."

Edelen is the second high-profile Democrat to pass on the governor's race. Former State Auditor Crit Luallen bowed out in April. That leaves Ky. Attorney General Jack Conway the only declared Democrat in the race.

Conway released a statement saying, "Adam has been a long-time friend. He's a fine and dedicated public servant and has a very bright future."

"Jack is a very strong candidate who has built up a high level of name recognition as a result of running a congressional campaign and three state-wide races," said Edelen. "He is well regarded and well known in the Democratic Party, but I think there will be other candidates that emerge."

Among the names mentioned in Democratic circles as potential candidates are House Speaker Greg Stumbo, former Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo, ex-congressman Ben Chandler, and Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, should she fail to beat U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell.

Edelen says he will not remain totally on the sidelines.

"Certainly I reserve the right as a Democrat to share my view about who is going to be the best candidate to take us through the 2015 elections," he said.

On the Republican side, former Metro Councilman Hal Heiner is already in the race. Agriculture Commissioner James Comer could announce sometime this fall.

Edelen plans to run for a second term as Ky. State Auditor, and a future race for governor is still very much on his radar.

In other statements issued Wednesday, Stumbo called Edelen "One the brightest young stars of Kentucky's political scene."

Stumbo kept his own 2015 plans open. "I'm not saying yes, but I'm not saying no," he said.

Comer said, "Edelen's team has worked very well with my staff toward a better Kentucky. We wish him well."

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