Louisville environmental attorney Tom FitzGerald has decided not to run next year for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate.
FitzGerald, in an email late Wednesday, said he has received hundreds of letters, emails and calls of support from across the state since it became public earlier this year that he was considering running for the seat now held by Republican Mitch McConnell of Louisville.
He said the idea of leaving almost 30 years of environmental advocacy as director of the Kentucky Resources Council was "exciting and daunting, a little heady and very humbling," but he realized that with the environmental problems facing Kentuckians "it is not time to step away from my current work."
FitzGerald is a lifelong Democrat who has never run for public office.
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Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes of Lexington announced on Monday that she will seek the Democratic nomination for the Senate seat.
Owensboro contractor Ed Marksberry, Louisville musician and music promoter Bennie J. Smith and University of Louisville communications professor Greg Leichty have said they would seek the Democratic nomination, but none has a statewide following.
McConnell so far does not have an opponent in next May's Republican primary election, but some Tea Party activists have said they will field a candidate.