HERALD-LEADER FRANKFORT BUREAU
FRANKFORT — State Sen. Chris Girdler, R-Somerset, announced Thursday he will not seek re-election to the Kentucky Senate next year.
Girdler, a former aide and district director for Republican U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers of Somerset, said in a statement that after more than “a year of prayerful consideration and conversations with my wife and close friends, I have confidently come to the decision that I will not be seeking re-election in 2016.”
Girdler, who won an election in 2012 to represent the 15th Senate District that includes Pulaski, Lincoln and Boyle counties, said he has a deep passion for public service but his wife, Courtney, and he are expecting their second daughter soon “and my passion for public service pales in comparison to the love and passion I have for my family and my faith.”
Girdler noted that he suggested many times on the campaign trail in 2012 that he did not plan on serving in the Senate for a long time.
“I feel I made that abundantly clear when I opted out of the legislative retirement plan upon being sworn in to prove that I was not in the General Assembly for the perks and privileges, but there to do the people’s business, and that is exactly what I have done,” he said.
Girdler, who works in real estate services, said he is proud of his legislative work, especially in tourism and economic development.
He said he wanted to announce his decision not to seek re-election early to allow qualified candidates ample time to consider running for the seat.
Girdler, who will serve in the Senate until the end of 2016, did not rule out seeking public office again. “I can see myself one day stepping back out to run for an elected office, but in this current season of my life my focus is exactly where it needs to be: with my family, my Christian faith and my business endeavors.”
Girdler currently chairs the Senate’s Tourism Development Committee as well as the Budget Review Subcommittee on Economic Development and Tourism, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection and is vice chair of the Economic Development, Tourism and Labor Committee.
He also serves on the Appropriations and Revenue Committee, Agriculture Committee, Banking and Insurance Committee, and the Natural Resources and Energy Committee. In addition, Girdler is chairman of the Capital Projects and Bond Oversight Committee.
Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, said in a statement that he regrets Girdler’s decision.
“Sen. Girdler made an immediate and significant impact upon being elected. He has been a valuable asset to our caucus from day one and he truly will be missed. That said, I fully understand the trials and tribulations of being a young man with a young family. I fully support his decision and wish him the best of luck with future endeavors,” said Stivers.