Kentucky Supreme Court Justice Will T. Scott of Pikeville said Monday he will decide by early January whether to run for governor next year.
If he decides to enter the Republican primary election to be held next May, Scott said, he will step down immediately as a justice on the state's highest court.
Scott, 67, acknowledged that he has had "informal discussions" with potential running mates and that whoever might be his running mate for lieutenant governor is "a major factor" in his decision. He said it would be "a ticket for promise."
If he runs, Scott said, his campaign would be based on ideas to improve the lives of Kentuckians.
The filing deadline to run for governor in 2015 is Jan. 27.
Two Republicans already have said they will run for governor — state Agriculture Commissioner James Comer of Tompkinsville and Louisville businessman Hal Heiner.
Attorney General Jack Conway of Louisville, a Democrat, also has entered the race, as well as Democrat Geoff Young, who lost a bid in this year's Democratic primary for 6th Congressional District seat.
Scott was elected to the Supreme Court from the 7th District in 2004. He served as deputy chief justice from 2006 to 2010.
Scott was a circuit judge from 1984 to 1988. Before that, he practiced law as a trial attorney from 1975 to 1980 and was an assistant commonwealth's attorney for Pike County from 1981 to 1982.
He has made unsuccessful runs for Congress and state attorney general.
Scott, a native of Pike County, attended Eastern Kentucky University for a year before volunteering for the Army in 1966. He was a first lieutenant in Vietnam. After his military service, Scott received a bachelor's degree from Pikeville College and a law degree from the University of Miami in Florida.