Steve Beshear and Jerry Abramson have been friends and allies for three decades. The friendship culminated with Gov. Beshear choosing the former Louisville mayor to be his running mate for the 2011 election.

But on Tuesday, Lt. Gov. Abramson announced that he won’t seek the governor’s office in 2015—he instead wants to focus on advocating for education.

Speaking Wednesday in Louisville, Beshear said he and Abramson will “keep working for the next two and a half years to create jobs, to invest in education.

“And even though Jerry has decided not to run for governor, I have no doubt he’ll continue in public service and continue focusing on education.”

Beshear added that he won’t endorse a candidate in the Democratic primary, but he’ll “certainly go all out” for the nominee in the general election. Attorney General Jack Conway, state Auditor Adam Edelen and former Auditor Crit Luallen are among the prospective candidates. 

The governor noted that he thinks Abramson could’ve done well as Kentucky’s chief executive, if he’d chosen to run.

“I certainly think he’d make a great governor, but, you know, it’s a personal decision for he and his family and they’ve decided to go in a different direction with their public service and I respect him for it,” Beshear said.