Chris Kennedy

Chicago-based Merchandise Mart mogul and political heir Chris Kennedy has told supporters he will not run for the Senate seat in Illinois left vacant by Roland Burris.

In a letter e-mailed on Tuesday, Kennedy, the son of the late Robert F. Kennedy, said he “decided not to run” for the Senate.

“The decision wasn’t easy to arrive at,” he said, and he joked that in wanting to consult with his family members, “just speaking to them can take months.”

“In the end, I did not want to have to leave the state in order to serve it,” Kennedy said. “They say love conquers all, and in my case, it conquered ambition.  I realize that I would rather be a good husband and a good father than a good Washington politician.”

Kennedy stated that his decision not to run was in part connected to the ill health of his uncle.

“I have been increasingly aware of the enormous contributions that my Uncle Teddy has made because of his service in the United States Senate.  I think the more we learn of his story, the more we want to carry on his legacy,” Kennedy wrote.

Kennedy, the only member of the clan to go into business and establish himself as a successful entrepreneur in his own right, has also quashed speculation that he would run for Illinois governor which is also up next year.

As it stands, Illinois State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias is the only announced Democratic contender for the U.S. Senate seat, but that is bound to change.