A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Alison Lundergan Grimes chooses motherhood over the governor’s office — for now; she’ll be back later

By Tom Latek
Kentucky Today

Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes announced on Monday she will not run for governor.

Grimes had long said she was considering a run for the Democratic Gubernatorial nomination in 2019, but a life-changing event changed her mind, according to a statement she released on Monday. “I never could have imagined that this year I would have the job I had always dreamed of – not governor-elect – but mom.”

Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes says she will not seek the governor’s seat and instead, plans to be a mom to her “miracle baby,” who was born after several unsuccessful pregnancies. (Photo by Office of the Secretary of State)

Crawford “Ford” Case Grimes, who was born to Alison and Andrew Grimes on December 26 after several years of unsuccessful pregnancies, led to her decision.

“While I am grateful for the confidence, support and friendship from thousands of supporters across this state, I have decided not to run another statewide campaign this year,” she said. “I want to focus on Ford, the miracle baby boy Andrew and I prayed so hard for, complete the historic and momentous work we began nearly eight years ago in the office of the Secretary of State, and help elect a new era of leadership locally and nationally.”

Grimes said she gave this a lot of thought. “As I know mothers across the Commonwealth and nation can appreciate, this decision was not easy – as I weighed family, work that I love, and knowing that our often male-dominated government needs the perspectives of more women and mothers.”

She added, don’t count her out of the political game permanently.

“I look forward to returning to public service in the future. In the meantime, I will continue to push for equality of opportunity for all and be a leading voice across the nation for women, workers, veterans and voting. It is my honor to continue serving the citizens of Kentucky.”

Attorney General Andy Beshear and Nelson County assistant principal Jacqueline Coleman were the first major Democratic Gubernatorial slate to file with the Secretary of State’s office, although a ticket of Democrats Geoff Young and Josh French also filled out their paperwork in December.

Slates headed by House Minority Leader Rocky Adkins, with running mate Stephanie Horne, and former State Auditor Adam Edelen, with running mate Gill Holland, have filed letters with the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance, which enables them to begin fundraising activities.

Two Republican slates also filed with the Secretary of State’s office, one headed by Rep. Robert Goforth, another led by William Woods.

Gov. Matt Bevin, who has repeatedly said he would seek re-election, has not yet filed with either the Registry or the Secretary of State, nor has he committed to keeping Lt. Gov. Jenean Hampton on the ticket.

All state constitutional offices are on the ballot this year. That includes Governor/Lt. Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General, Auditor of Public Accounts, State Treasurer and Agriculture Commissioner.

The filing deadline for the May primary is Jan. 29.

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