Former U.S. Rep. Betty Sutton will not run for governor or any other statewide office next year.
She released a brief statement Friday morning saying she has decided against a gubernatorial bid.
“I want to thank all who have encouraged me to run,” said Sutton, who lives in Copley Township. “I will always be honored by the support and encouragement I have been given, but after thoughtful consideration, I have decided that I will not run.”
An adviser for Sutton said she also has ruled out any other statewide seat and doesn’t plan to make an endorsement at this time in the governor’s race.
Her announcement came a week after U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Niles, said he won’t run for governor.
Those decisions appear to clear the way for Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald, who so far is the only Democrat who has stepped forward to challenge Gov. John Kasich.
Richard Cordray is the only other prominent Democrat who hasn’t said if he will seek the seat. He is going through the confirmation process in the U.S. Senate to be reappointed to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Sutton, who lost last year to U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci, R-Wadsworth, after a redrawing of the district lines lumped the two incumbents into the 16th Congressional District, has not disclosed her future plans. She is an attorney and could return to practicing law.
She declined comment Friday beyond her written statement.
FitzGerald already has begun aggressive campaigning, including a couple of fundraisers in Summit County. He released a statement Friday, after Sutton’s announcement, saying she “has been a great public servant for Ohio, and I’m sure she will continue to be.”
“There is no doubt she will be a great asset to whoever the Democratic nominee for governor is,” he said.