Giuliani Reportedly Nixes Governor Bid

By Jennifer Millman and Melissa Russo
|  Friday, Nov 20, 2009  |  Updated 11:14 AM EDT
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Giuliani Reportedly Nixes Governor Bid

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If you're not going to run for governor, Rudy, what are you going to do next?

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Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani has decided not to run for governor in 2010, people familiar with the Republican's decision told The New York Times.

Much speculation has been brewing about whether the man who helped lift the city up in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, would throw his hat into the gubernatorial ring.

Salivating over a juicy match-up against the poll-challenged David Paterson, Republicans across the state had approached Giuliani about a potential run.

For months, Giuliani would say only that he was considering it, but didn't give any indication one way or another. He was noncommittal as recently as this past Sunday, when he said in a TV interview that he hadn't made his choice yet but would "very soon."

If the reports are correct, it appears that decision has come sooner rather than later – and it's a blow to members of the GOP who had been eager to capitalize on the floundering economy and voter ire at Albany politics to take back the state's highest office.

It's not known how Giuliani came to his decision, but the polls may serve as one indication. While polls show Giuliani would beat Paterson overwhelmingly in a potential gubernatorial race, they indicate a much closer contest between Giuliani and Attorney General Andrew Cuomo. Cuomo has yet to announce whether he plans to challenge Paterson, who has brushed off President Barack Obama's requests that he abstain from the race, in the Democratic primary.

Sources told NBC New York that Giuliani has not personally informed the State GOP of "a decision" but that conversations were already underway with Giuliani associates with the understanding that the former mayor is more seriously weighing a run for Senate against Kirsten Gillibrand next year, where he would have a better chance of winning than versus Cuomo.

Giuliani, who gravely disappointed the party on the national stage in his one time bid for the presidency, has made a fortune as a motivational speaker and partner in his business, Giuliani Partners. His private ventures, however, tend to fall by the wayside when he runs for political office, which may have played a role in his reported decision.

A Giuliani spokeswoman, Maria Comella, told the Times just yesterday that it was "premature to say any decision had been made," citing the former mayor's TV appearances last weekend.

Today she told NBC New York that Giuliani would let everyone know his decision when he was ready.

"Rudy has a history of making up his own mind and has no problem speaking it," she said. "When Mayor Giuliani makes a decision about serving in public office, he will inform New Yorkers on his own."

While many members of the Republican party may bemoan Rudy's decision not to run for governor, at least one of them is happy. That's likely Rick Lazio, the only candidate whose announced his intention to run on the GOP line. 

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