FRANKFORT — Secretary of State Trey Grayson, who lost the Republican primary election for U.S. Senate last May to Rand Paul, said Wednesday he will not be a candidate for any office next year.
Grayson had been considering running for attorney general in 2011. He is in his second four-year term as secretary of state and cannot legally seek a consecutive third term.
"After many hours of reflection, conversations and prayer with family, friends, advisers and others, I want to announce today that I will not be a candidate for attorney general — or any other office — in 2011," Grayson said in a statement.
"While I am not ruling out a campaign in future years, I am confident that this is the best decision for my family and me."
Grayson, 38, said he appreciates the encouragement from many people for him to run for attorney general but that, at this time, he wants to spend more time with his wife, Nancy, and their two daughters, ages 10 and seven, than an elective office will allow.
Grayson said that during a recent post-election Republican state meeting, there were smiles on everyone's faces about the election. "On the inside, however, I was torn," he said, "because to attend the meeting, I had to miss my youngest daughter Kate's first-ever basketball game."
He said he couldn't reconcile his "desire to have more family time with another gruel ing, statewide campaign."
Grayson said his decision was not related to Democrat Jack Conway's recent announcement that he will seek re-election as attorney general. Conway lost the U.S. Senate general election earlier this month to Paul.
"I am confident of my ability to wage a successful campaign against Jack next November," Grayson said. "I believe that more Kentuckians share my view that the attorney general can and should play an important role in fighting the unconstitutional and anti-Kentucky actions of the federal government in areas like health care, energy and agricultural policy.
"I was looking forward to the two of us waging a vigorous but fair campaign."
Conway said in a statement that he respects Grayson and hopes he stays in public service:
"Regardless of party, I have found Trey to be conscientious and capable. I have always been able to work with him on issues that benefit our commonwealth."
Grayson said Conway's announcement did move up his timetable for a decision on whether to pursue office next year.
"By making my decision now, I hope that other Republicans will start having those same conversations with their loved ones, friends and advisers over the upcoming break," he said.
Grayson said he has no specific plans for his future besides serving the remainder of his term as secretary of state, which runs through the end of 2011.
State Republican Party Chairman Steve Robertson said he has "nothing but respect" for Grayson.
"He has served admirably as secretary of state and showed he indeed is a team player when he immediately backed Rand Paul for the U.S. Senate after the primary election." Robertson said.