Despite leading in the polls, former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell has decided not to seek the GOP nomination to challenge sitting U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown. Following is a statement Blackwell read to me over the phone:
After three months of quietly talking with my family, friends, political strategists, donors and two men who have expressed a strong interest in this Senate seat, I have decided to end my active consideration of a run for the U.S. Senate. I believe it is unfair to the conservative objective of defeating Sherrod Brown to stretch out my decision making process any further.
For the balance of this election cycle, I will focus my attention on my family, my health, and the Cut, Cap, and Balance plan we unveiled earlier this week. My work at The Family Research Council, the American Civil Rights Union and Liberty University is intellectually and spiritually rewarding. There are four things I’ve figured out over the past ninety days:
1. Running would require me to make ‘nice’ with folks with whom I would rather not.
2. After serving as Mayor, State Treasurer, and Secretary of State, I much prefer executive office over a legislative office.
3. Since I have always said that I would not personally engage in campaigning for elective office past age seventy, I could not and would not run for re-election if successful this time. I believe to get done what needs to be done in the U.S. Senate, the next senator needs to make a two-term commitment. I cannot.
4. The encouragement and commitment I received from movement conservatives and donors in Ohio and from across the country were substantial, and a source of political strength that the GOP establishment has never been able to grasp.