May 7th, 2009
01:20 PM ET
5 years ago

Ridge not running for Senate

Former Pennsylvania Gov. and Bush Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge announced Thursday that he will not run for Senate in 2010.
Former Pennsylvania Gov. and Bush Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge announced Thursday that he will not run for Senate in 2010.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – After much speculation, former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge announced Thursday that he would not run for the Senate in 2010.

Ridge, a centrist Republican, had been courted by some elders in his party to seek the GOP nomination after Sen. Arlen Specter switched his party affiliation from Republican to Democrat.

"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," Ridge said in a statement. "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."

Ridge said he will continue to stay involved in politics and added that he will help the GOP "craft solutions that both sides of the aisle can embrace."

"To those who believe that the Republican Party is facing challenges, they are right," Ridge said. "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."


Filed under: Arlen Specter • Pennsylvania • Senate • Tom Ridge
soundoff (63 Responses)
  1. CitizenJane

    What happened Ridge, did Rush tell you that you weren't pure enough for his support?

    May 7, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  2. Had enough in MN

    Ridge knows he couldn't possibly win. Neither the Democrats, the centrist independents, nor the tiny but rabid group of "base" Republicans would vote for him.

    May 7, 2009 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  3. Bob in Pa

    Tom isn't stupid. He knows not to get involved.

    May 7, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  4. Brian G, Sugar Land, TX

    Rats deserting the sinking ship. Guess Tommy botched the Secretary of Homeland Security gig so badly that he is keeping a low profile.

    May 7, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  5. Simmy

    ***********************************************************************
    F Gov. Ridge; ..."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."
    *************************************************************************
    Somehow I don't think his words will resonate with his fellow Republicans.....They wanted to use him to win...If he doesn't cooperate, they'll keep looking until they find another patsy.....

    May 7, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  6. Imarriedmysister in Alabama

    Dont forget to take your scare tactic flags with you Tom Ridge.Once a dirty cop,always a dirty cop.

    May 7, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  7. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Tom knows the GOP is going to hell in a hadbasket and he wants no part of that.

    May 7, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  8. shucks

    In other words, as long as the Republican party is lost in their religion and their hateful rhetoric, Mr. Ridge wants nothing to do with them. He knows that here in Pennsylvania, we are about as sick of the republican party as you can get. All republicans in the state are shaking in their shoes. After we booted the looney Rick Santorum out, and our leading Senator defected to the Democratic party, Mr. Ridge had only one answer to them. Not until you act like a respectible party, and quit trying to divide the country through your religious views and racism.

    May 7, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  9. Eric

    This is big news; even Ridge doesn't want to be too associated with the 'Republican Brand'; I believe that he realized that a senate run would involve not only a fight with Spector, but one with the true leaders of the party (Limbaugh, et al). If he did win the primary, and that's not a given; those guys would talk about 'holding their nose' and voting for him (at best).

    May 7, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  10. Carlos Marrero

    Election of more Moderate Democrats and Republicans could go a long way towards finding solutions for this country. The polarization between the extremes on both sides is the problem. Not that we don't need them, discourse is a positive thing. "Us and "Them" has done the American people a great injustice.

    There are plenty of good ideas out there that are being snuffed by bi-partisan politics.

    May 7, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  11. Dominic

    Yes, men like Ridge is the reason this country is mighty. He has integrity and he is smart. And I might add that he is a very patrotic American. I salute you sir.

    May 7, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  12. Chris

    The former Gov. is right.....no one party has a monopoly on 100% of the answers......This guy should go to congress and be a helping hand to the President......
    The difference right now between the DEMS and GOP is this.....DEMS are trying to solve all the issues facing the country.....the GOP is try to get all power back that they lost.......
    They didn't lose power b/c of money they were spending, but where they were spending the money, and how they were conducting the foreign affairs of America.....meanwhile, they had no tangible domestic policy.....

    May 7, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  13. wizzy

    very thoughtful,, well done!the republicans are acting out of nager and hatred to defeat spector , and Ridge been centrist and pragmatic refused to be part of the do-nothing and say no out of anger or hatred republicansthe party will continue in its abyss until they relize americans are forward looking and pragmatic rather than impulsive and fearful

    May 7, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  14. Chamorrita, MD

    BAM! Tom Ridge KNOWS he would LOSE. That's the reality. He's got too much baggage from the Bush Administration. The Democrats would eat him up alive.

    The mere fact he's a Bush-man will come back to BITE him big time come 2010. Republicans are grasping as straws. Tom Ridge is not about to run and get trampled on in the national spotlight. All these lame excuses are nothing but hogwash. Ridge is not stupid, he see the writing on the wall.

    The GOP Zombie Party has done nothing but self-implode over and over. They continue to market "OLD FACES" and claiming them as NEW. What? Americans are NOT stupid, they are NOT buying this garbage. You could wrap a pig in silk, it will still be a PIG!!!

    I'm sure Rush Limbaugh will have something to say about Tom Ridge.

    May 7, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  15. Dee, NJ

    Gov Ridge, Thank You! The Big "O" will has my vote 2012!

    May 7, 2009 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  16. Big Ed

    I like what he said.

    May 7, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  17. StuckinmoderationMari

    Poor Tom Ridge can't win as a GOPer. He, will have to "jump ship" because of his "pro-choice" beliefs.

    May 7, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  18. Keeth in California

    There is a God and he has saved us from another one of his followers.

    May 7, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  19. Frank, Las Vegas

    Of course he's not going run. The right wing of the GOP wouldn't vote for Ridge either in the primary. He might have had a chance in the general, but he wouldn't have gotten past the primary. That's why the GOP is shrinking so much. There's no room for moderates or centrists in the new (?) GOP.

    May 7, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  20. Kaye -Jacksonville FL

    I think I just heard Arlen Spector whisper "Thank You..."

    May 7, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  21. Laverne

    Too bad republicans, this guy is actually a reasonable person.

    May 7, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  22. Rob Johnson

    I hope Arlen Specter sent him a nice thank you note. Ridge was the only Republican with any chance of beating Specter.

    Looks like Arlen's gamble paid off. Welcome to the Democratic Party!

    May 7, 2009 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  23. Candy West Virginia

    No more republicans! They've ruined our country enough!

    May 7, 2009 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  24. Jim

    Republicans will nominate Toomey and get slaughtered!

    May 7, 2009 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  25. Tonna

    He must have read the hand writing on the wall – which says with or without Specter, that seat is staying democratic come 2010

    May 7, 2009 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
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