The reality star says he"felt obligated" to announce his run for senate after being pressured by Cohen

By Emily Strohm
April 30, 2015 06:40 PM
Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU/Getty; Erik Pendzich/REX USA

When Thomas Ravenel announced he was running for U.S. Senate during an appearance last April on Watch What Happen Live, the Bravo reality star says he was pressured into making the decision.

“That was ridiculous,” Ravenel, 52, tells PEOPLE of the election, in which he spent $1 million of his own money and garnered just 3.9 percent of the votes in South Carolina.

“I was going to make an announcement that my child was being born, and at the last second Andy Cohen said, ‘Announce that you’re running for the U.S. Senate,’ so I made a nationwide promise that I was going to run,” he says.

While Ravenel admits he had thought about running before, he insists he wasn’t prepared to move forward just yet.

“Later he said, ‘You know you didn’t have to say that. You could have said no,’ but I felt obligated,” Ravenel says.

“I had just met him and he was a pretty famous guy. I didn’t really think that I had a chance. It’s very difficult to run as an independent.”

Cohen, 46, has denied the accusation on WWHL. And these days, Ravenel has put his political aspirations behind him and is focusing on raising his 1-year old daughter, Kensington, with Southern Charm costar Kathryn Dennis.

“You’re going to look back and have regrets or you’re going to look back and you’re going to sleep at night,” says Ravenel on how fatherhood changed his life. “I try to look forward and say ‘What is going to allow me to sleep at night.’ It all comes down to sleep.”

Southern Charm airs Mondays at 10 p.m. ET on Bravo.

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