Kentucky State Auditor Adam Edelen declared Wednesday that he won’t run for governor next year.
Edelen, viewed by many as a potential Democratic candidate, cited family reasons as the basis for his decision.
“My wife and my sons were all gung-ho for me to run, but at the end of the day I made the determination that I’d rather spend the next year-and-a-half coaching little league and catching crooks and running for re-election than I would worrying about my name ID in a governor’s race,” Edelen told Kentucky Public Radio.
When state auditors run for other offices, they are often seen as harbingers of reform. With former state auditor Crit Luallen also out of the race, Edelen hopes that reform will be a key platform in the election.
“We can’t just be the guardians of the status quo,” Edelen says. “We’ve got to have a real reform element. Certainly I think General Conway and the other candidates who will get in will have plenty of time to lay out their reformist vision for Kentucky, but the Democrats are going to have to be reformers in order to hold the governor’s mansion.”
Attorney General Jack Conway is currently the only Democrat to publicly announce a run for the governor’s office. Former Lt. Gov. Dan Mongiardo recently told The Courier-Journal that he’s “leaning toward” running.
Edelen says he’s waiting for others in his party to join the race before he makes an endorsement.
He said the May Democratic primary will boil down to “how we make the investments in education that we need to make, how we make develop the job training approach that drives economic development in this state, and how we get Kentucky through what has been a very difficult set of economic circumstances.”