Democrats see bright future for Edelen even if it doesn't involve running for governor in 2015

06/18/2014 03:08 PM

Adam Edelen may have passed on the 2015 governor’s race, but his political future could be bright for Democrats if the timing lines up for the 39-year old Auditor. The decision could also open up the potential field for governor to other Democrats.

Edelen has committed to running for a second term as state auditor, but if Edelen wins he would be term limited. And with the possibility of a Democratic governor running for re-election in four-years that leaves some interesting options on the table for Edelen.

“Timing is everything in politics,” Former Auditor Crit Luallen told Pure Politics in a phone interview Wednesday. Luallen said that Edelen is doing a “terrific job as auditor” and as long as he keeps up the work the “future tends to take care of itself.”

Luallen, who also chose not to run for governor in 2015 after seriously considering the race, said there will likely be other statewide races in Edelen’s future other than a re-election campaign for auditor.

While Democrat Elisabeth Jensen is challenging Republican U.S. Rep. Andy Barr in this election cycle for the 6th District Congressional seat, Luallen thought that the seat could present itself to Edelen over time. Luallen said Edelen could also run for U.S. Senate — Republican U.S. Sen. Rand Paul is up for re-election in 2016, and seriously considering a bid for President of the United States.

When asked about the political calculus that went into his decision for future races Edelen told Pure Politics that “nobody can predict the future,” but that right now he wants to “catch crooks and coach little league.”

State Rep. Mary Lou Marzian, D-Louisville, Edelen’s decision not to run “may open the door for other folks to get in” the race for governor.

Marzian said Edelen has done a “great job as auditor,” but in the end though him stepping aside would clear a path for Attorney General Jack Conway to grab the nomination.

House Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, called Edelen one of the “brightest young stars,” in Kentucky politics in a statement sent Wednesday. Stumbo said he respects Edelen’s decision to spend more time with his family.

“I wish him the best and will support his bid for re-election as auditor,” Stumbo said.

Stumbo has kept his name in consideration for a run for governor in 2015, but he said his focus is on keeping control of the House of Representatives in the fall elections.

“Several people have asked about my intentions. I am focused on this fall’s House races and helping Alison Lundergan Grimes in her race to become U.S. Senator,” Stumbo said. “Since the governor’s race is not until next year, my standard answer will remain the same: I am not saying yes, but I’m not saying no. The time to make that decision will be after the November election.”

Former Lt. Governor Daniel Mongiardo hasn’t ruled out a race for governor in 2015, but said no Democrat should announce until after the fall elections .


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