Kentucky State Auditor Adam Edelen won't be a candidate for governor in 2015.
Political observers considered Edelen a serious contender. He'd made in-roads toward a run for governor, including courting Democratic donors and nailing down a running mate who was never publicly identified.
Edelen released this statement today announcing his decision:
In 2015, I will be a candidate for re-election as State Auditor.
During my tenure as Kentucky's taxpayer watchdog, we have broken new ground. From ferreting out waste and holding corrupt public officials accountable, to the work of making our schools run for the benefit of our children and taxpayers, to ensuring privacy protections in the digital age, I'm proud of what has been accomplished. I look forward to asking the people of Kentucky for a mandate to continue this important, bipartisan work.
I greatly appreciate the expressions of encouragement and support from across the Commonwealth as I explored a race for governor. Those well-wishes mean more than I can ever express.
The reality is that campaign would require difficult sacrifices of my family and from my work as Auditor. These are sacrifices I'm unwilling to make at this time.
The work of helping Kentucky realize it's enormous potential is my passion. I appreciate the opportunity for service I have now and hope to continue that work in the future.
With Edelen turning down a gubernatorial bid, Attorney General Jack Conway, who is the only declared Democratic candidate, is thought to be the clear front-runner for the nomination. Other possible Democratic candidates include House Speaker Greg Stumbo and former Lt. Governor Dan Mongiardo.
In recent months, Edelen has released or began work on audits of Kentucky public school systems, including Jefferson County Public Schools. His office also recently looked into the qualification requirements for school finance officers statewide.
In January, Edelen discussed his interest in running for governor with WFPL's Jonathan Bastian for Up Front:
We'll have more details on Edelen's decision later today.