NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — The Connecticut doctor whose wife and two daughters were killed in a 2007 home invasion said Wednesday he has decided not to run for Congress.
Dr. William Petit said in a statement provided to The Associated Press that he will not be a candidate for the 5th Congressional District seat in northwestern Connecticut.
Though he had been approached by a number of people who urged him to consider running, Petit said his “clear priority” is spending time with his new wife and 10-year-old son.
“I feel particularly blessed to be able to devote my time to them and to continue to volunteer for the Petit Family Foundation at this stage of my life,” he wrote.
Petit told reporters in November he was “50-50” on running. The district is represented by Democratic Rep. Elizabeth Esty.
Petit was the only survivor of the hostage ordeal in which his wife and two daughters were killed inside his home in Cheshire.
The family was held hostage for hours by two paroled burglars and their home set on fire. Petit was beaten, tied up and taken to the basement, but he managed to escape and crawl to a neighbor’s house for help.
Petit’s wife was taken to a bank to withdraw money, then was raped and strangled back at the house. Their daughters were tied to their beds and died of smoke inhalation after the house was doused in gasoline and set on fire.
Steven Hayes, 50, and Joshua Komisarjevsky, 33, were sentenced to death for the killings.
Petit has never held elected office, but he was deeply involved in campaigning against the repeal of Connecticut’s death penalty.
“I have always felt it is a great responsibility and privilege in a democracy to run for public office, and that those who care about good government need to be willing to get involved,” Petit said.
Petit was considered a formidable candidate if he ran and the seat is one where Republicans would have a chance to break Democrats’ lock on the state’s congressional delegation.