CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Maj. Gen. Allen Tackett, retired leader of the West Virginia National Guard, is not considering a run for U.S. Senate.
"I have no intention right now of running for Senate," Tackett told the Daily Mail Friday in an interview.
Tackett, 68, was rumored as a potential contender in the Democrat primary for Sen. Jay Rockefeller's soon-to-be-vacated seat. Rockefeller, D-W.Va., announced earlier this year he would retire when his term expires in 2014.
Tackett retired in January 2011 after more than 15 years as adjutant general of the West Virginia National Guard. Recently, Tackett said he's received hundreds of phone calls urging him to enter the race.
Tackett gave two reasons why he isn't going to run. He said "I'm not rich" and he doesn't have the money he thinks is needed to run a successful senate campaign.
Tackett also can't run right now because he doesn't want to abandon his wife and his 93-year-old aunt, he said.
"I just can't physically run off and leave the situation I've got there. I just can't do it right now," Tackett said.
His aunt, Ruth Taylor, is his mother's sister, and she's lived with Tackett and his wife for the last 32 years. She's legally blind, but can make her way around the home, Tackett said.
Taking her to Washington is out of the question, and "there's no way" Tackett would leave his wife to take care of her alone, he said.
"It's just not the right time," Tackett said.
The son of a coal miner, Tackett also worked for a coal mining company before taking the top spot at the National Guard in 1995, according to newspaper archives.
He was friends and worked well with the late Sen. Robert C. Byrd. The pair partnered to secure hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding for National Guard projects.
Just before Rockefeller announced he would not seek re-election, Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., said she would run for the Senate seat. Tackett understands he's joining a growing list of Democratic non-candidates.