FRANKFORT — After months of deliberation, former state Auditor of Public Accounts Crit Luallen announced Thursday she will sit out the 2015 race for governor.
The announcement disappointed friends and associates who see Luallen as an able and experienced administrator — she served in six gubernatorial administrations — but also someone with the character and integrity to restore confidence in government.
“No one can exceed her dedication, her ability or her integrity,” said former Gov. Paul Patton who appointed Luallen as his Executive Cabinet Secretary, essentially state government’s chief executive officer. “I had great respect for Crit coming in but even greater respect going out.”
Luallen, 61, issued a brief statement, saying she made her decision “based on what I thought was best for me personally and my family.”
She said she and her husband, Lynn, “both have our health and a lot we want to do and enjoy together. This simply wasn’t the right time in our lives for us to make the decision to enter the race.”
This isn’t the first time the Frankfort native, a descendant of two 19th century governors — Jordan Crittenden and Luke P. Blackford (her full name is Eugenia Crittenden Blackburn Luallen) — has considered running for governor and then backed away. She thought about running in 2007, but announced in the fall of 2006 that she would not make the race.
Luallen overcame cancer twice — first colon cancer and then a second, unrelated cancer prior to the 2007 race. She said Thursday that both she and Lynn Luallen are now in good health.
She knows she disappointed those who fervently wished to see her become governor.
“This was not an easy decision,” Luallen said in a telephone interview. She said she called about 65 people, many close friends.
“There was a lot of disappointment,” she said. “But I think people who care about me personally understand why I made this decision.”