[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/11/10/art.rell.gi.jpg caption="Republican Tom Foley said Thursday that he decided to run for Connecticut governor after the state's incumbent governor Jodi Rell, pictured, announced she would not seek re-election."]
(CNN) – Connecticut Republican Tom Foley announced Thursday that he is dropping bid for the GOP's 2010 Senate nomination in his state. Instead, Foley also announced, he has decided to run governor of Connecticut.
In explaining the switch, the business executive and former ambassador to Ireland said in a statement on his campaign Web site that advisers had initially suggested he run for governor.
"At the time, though, Governor Rell, whom I respect very much, was preparing to run for re-election," Foley said.
But things changed when Gov. Jodi Rell, Connecticut's Republican executive, announced that she would not seek re-election next year.
"Many of the same people who a year ago said the Governorship is where I could best serve Connecticut, have called to re-iterate that to me," Foley said on his Web site Thursday.
After also receiving many e-mails and speaking with "more than one hundred people – including many who are currently serving in [Connecticut] state government," Foley said he decided to switch races.
Foley added that he will be "assembling a policy team . . . to evaluate options and make recommendations for solving the problems we face."
The Connecticut Democratic Party immediately took aim at Foley after his announcement.
"Over the next few months, assuming Tom Foley doesn't drop out of this race, too, we look forward to hearing what he believes he has to offer the people of this state on any number of issues they find themselves facing," Colleen Flanagan, the state party's Communications Director, said in a statement.