Former Rep. Harold Ford Jr.Harold Eugene FordDem strategist says he’s never seen anything as bad as robocall against Gillum Harold Ford Jr. to write autobiography Harold Ford Jr. rules out run for governor MORE said Monday that he will not run for governor of Tennessee.

In an email to his supporters, the Democrat said would not seek the governor's mansion that is being vacated by Democrat Phil Bredesen. Bredesen is term limited and cannot run again.

"After long thought, consultation and prayer with my wife, Emily, I've decided now is not the right time to re-enter elected politics," Ford wrote. "Therefore, I won't be a candidate for governor this year."

Ford, who is currently the chairman of the Democratic Leadership Council, has been the subject of political speculation since he lost a close race for Senate to Republican Bob Corker. He has long been considered a rising star in the Democratic Party.

Ford stopped short of endorsing another candidate, though, saying only that he encourages his supports to "align with one of the other Democrats running."

A slew of candidates are already in the race. On the Democratic side, state Sen. Roy Herron, Nashville businessman Ward Cammack, and state House Majority Leader Kim McMillan are all running. Mike McWherter, the sone of former Gov. Ned McWherter, is also rumored to be eyeing the race.