[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/05/07/art.ridget0507.gi.jpg caption="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."