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No U.S. Senate bid for Tom Ridge

May 7, 2009 10:18:29 AM PDT
Republican Tom Ridge ended some speculation on Thursday. Some members of the Republican party had been urging Ridge to run for Arlen Specter's seat in the U.S. Senate ever since the Philadelphia native switched from the Republican to Democrat parties last week.

Ridge would have been running against former Congressman Pat Toomey from the Lehigh Valley in the Republican primary.

Earlier this week, a poll by Quinnipiac University showed Specter and Ridge in a virtual tie if they ran against each in the general election.

Thursday, Ridge released the following statement:

STATEMENT BY THE HONORABLE TOM RIDGE ON HIS DECISION NOT TO SEEK THE SENATE SEAT IN PENNSYLVANIA

Washington, DC, May 7, 2009 - Tom Ridge, the first U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security and former Governor of Pennsylvania, issued the following statement today on his decision not to seek the Republican nomination for Senate in his home state of Pennsylvania.

"After careful consideration and many conversations with friends and family and the leadership of my party, I have decided not to seek the Republican nomination for Senate.

"I am enormously grateful for the confidence my party expressed in me, the encouragement and kindness of my fellow citizens in Pennsylvania and the valuable counsel I received from so many of my party colleagues. The 2010 race has significant implications for my party, and that required thoughtful reflection. All of the above made my decision a difficult and deeply personal conclusion to reach. However, this process also impressed upon me how fortunate I am to have so many friends who volunteered to support my journey if I chose to take it and continue to offer their support after I conveyed to them this morning how I believe I can best serve my commonwealth, my party and my country.

"Public service has long played a significant role in my life. That service does not end here. There are causes to which I remain intensely committed, including my work on behalf of the disability community, our nation's veterans, our national security and the GOP ? the party I enthusiastically joined more than four decades ago.

"To those who believe that the Republican Party is facing challenges; they are right. To those who believe the Democratic Party is without its own difficulties, they are wrong. No one party has a monopoly on all of the answers. The more important view, in my mind, is that we remember, whether Republican or Democrat, we are foremost Americans. And as Americans, we have always overcome challenges when we put partisanship aside and solutions first.

"And so my desire and intention is to help my party craft solutions that both sides of the aisle can embrace. My hope is to raise the level of civility in public debate and raise the bar on outcomes that serve our citizens fully, fairly and equally. My belief is that those in my home state can best be served by the principles of limited government, less taxes, competent governance and shared responsibility. So I stand ready and excited to help my party and my country prevail as we continue to work to preserve and protect our strong, storied and much beloved nation."

Source: Office of The Honorable Tom Ridge

Ridge was elected to two terms as Pennsylvania governor, but left the office before the end of his second term to become the first Secretary for the Department of Homeland Security under President George W. Bush.

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