Here is McWherter's statement upon opting out:
"Over the past few months, I've been honored to receive overwhelming support by Tennesseans from all walks of life encouraging me to run for U.S. Senate. It's clear that people want change in Washington, D.C., and I've spent considerable time, especially over the past two months, exploring the possibility of running. However, after careful consideration, I've decided the timing just isn't right for me or my family.
"The reality is: the demands of raising millions of dollars in short order and running an intense 12-month campaign simply are not in the best interests of my family right now. With two kids in high school, I had the choice of being able to savor every day of their remaining years at home, or missing a good part of that time on the campaign trail and in Washington. I'm choosing to focus on them.
"While I've ruled out running for the US Senate, I continue to be interested in public service and want to do whatever I can to help move our state and country in a positive direction. That includes lending my support to whoever the eventual Democratic nominee should be. Given the dramatic change that's occurring in our country, and the exodus that's occurring in the Senate, it's clear that the time is right for a candidate who has the time and resources to take on Senator Alexander and help usher in change to Washington.
"Finally, to everyone who expressed their support during my exploratory efforts: Thank you very much. I'm fortunate to have had the support of my father, wife and children, as well as Democrat and Republican friends from across the state. I look forward to talking with them in the future as we all work to keep improving our state and nation."
McWherter's campaign had been expected to capitalize on the name of his father, Ned McWherter, the former two-term governor.