DOWNTOWN — While the challenge of being the state’s top cop was intriguing, Councilman Bobby Shriver said Thursday that he will not run for attorney general in 2010, citing concerns about being away from his newborn baby girl during the campaign.

The brother of California first lady Maria Shriver and nephew of President John F. Kennedy, Shriver, 54, is a member of perhaps America’s most famous political dynasty, the Kennedy clan, and was considered by some pundits to be a viable candidate with name recognition and influential contacts in the Democratic Party.

His father, Sargent Shriver, was the 1972 Democratic candidate for vice president. Of his other uncles, Robert Kennedy was U.S. attorney general and U.S. senator, and Ted Kennedy has served in the U.S. Senate for decades.

“I just kept looking at that little baby and kept thinking to myself that I could not be on the road for four or five days, come home on the weekend and then be back on the road,” Shriver said in an interview with the Daily Press. “I can’t do that. I’ve been waiting my whole life to be a dad and I’m not going to blow it right as I’m just starting it.

“It’s frustrating because I had a lot of amazing conversations with people … and I love working hard, but this is the right decision for me,” Shriver, a graduate of Yale Law School, added.

Shriver’s wife, Malissa Feruzzi, gave birth to their daughter, Rosemary, in January.

It was just last month that word spread of Shriver’s desire to explore a run for attorney general.

Harvey Englander, a Democratic political strategist who managed both of Shriver’s successful runs for Santa Monica City Council, confirmed rumors, saying, “There’s been a wide variety of people who have come to him and who he has used as a sounding board to talk about the job of attorney general and the role it takes, the profile it has in terms of moving California forward.”

Shriver’s departure from a field he never officially entered leaves San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris, Los Angeles City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo, and a trio of Assembly Democrats — Ted Lieu, Alberto Torrico and Pedro Nava — in the race on the Democratic side. Republican Sen. Tom Harman has also filed paperwork to run, according to the Sacramento Bee.

Incumbent Attorney General Jerry Brown is widely expected to run for governor, leaving an open seat.

Shriver was re-elected to a second, four-year term on the City Council in November. During his tenure he has focused on finding housing for homeless veterans and bringing more transparency to special education in the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District.

kevinh@smdp.com