Breaking news this afternoon, Lt. Governor Drew Wrigley will be announcing that he’s not running for Governor in 2016.
Wrigley admitted to having an extramarital affair earlier this year, but said at the time he was still considering a run for governor.
“Today is certainly not about an election,” Wrigley told me earlier this month when I interviewed him about the affair. “We’re going to leave that for another day. I’m a husband and a father first which is a long way ahead of anything else Whatever course we elect to follow Kathleen and I are choosing that course together. We have a decision to make and we will make every one of those decisions together.”
“To be able to relay that message to you today after all these months is really a sign of the blessing we’ve been able to rely on in a very difficult time in our marriage,” he added.
Wrigley choosing not to run leaves Republicans with five potential candidates for governor heading into 2016. Treasurer Kelly Schmidt, Fargo businessman Doug Burgum, Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, state Senator Tom Campbell and state Rep. Rick Becker are all considering a run.
I’ll update when I have more information.
UPDATE: Wrigley’s statement:
“While Kathleen and I have been heartened by the many expressions and promises of support for a 2016 campaign for governor, we have concluded that the onset of a campaign is not consistent with the current needs of our family. Those personal considerations are foremost in our lives, and we have made this decision together.
My professional attention will stay on the work to be done over the remaining 14 months of my term as lieutenant governor of North Dakota. We remain enthusiastic about our daily opportunities to promote the interests of our beloved North Dakota, and we look forward with promise.
Kathleen and I thank all of those who continue to offer prayers and personal words of encouragement, often bravely sharing their personal stories as guidance, understanding and hope. We are humbled by the loving spirit of the innumerable kindnesses extended by so many people.
To all of those who will be running for governor and other offices in 2016, our family wishes you a safe, positive and spirited journey.”