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Giuliani Not Running For NY Senate Or Governor

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Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, viewedby many New York Republicans as a savior for the struggling party,said Tuesday that he won't run for political office next year andinstead will concentrate on his lucrative law and consultingbusinesses.

"We have some pretty significant commitments next year thatwill really make it impossible for me to run full-time foroffice," Giuliani said Tuesday at a news conference to endorseex-congressman Rick Lazio for governor.

Giuliani said he thought about running for governor againstDemocratic Gov. David Paterson and in the U.S. Senate race nextyear against freshman Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand.

"At different times, I thought I might do it," he said, but"it just isn't the right time."

He said he wouldn't rule out running for office in the future."It's a decision purely about 2010," he said. "I have no ideawhether I'll run for something else."

Giuliani, whose most recent foray into politics ended with astinging loss to John McCain in the race for the 2008 Republicanpresidential nomination, said there are strong GOP candidates forboth Senate and governor, "and I want to start out by endorsingone, Rick Lazio for governor."

Lazio replaced Giuliani on the ticket in the 2000 Senate raceand went on to be trounced by Hillary Rodham Clinton. Giulianiwithdrew from that race after getting prostate cancer and sufferinga public breakup of his marriage.

Paterson appointed Gillibrand earlier this year to take over forClinton after the former first lady became secretary of state. The2010 election will decide who would serve out the balance of theterm, through 2012.

Giuliani said ex-Gov. George Pataki and U.S. Rep. Pete Kingcould be strong GOP candidates for Senate.

Potential candidates had been looking for word on Giuliani'splans before proceeding with theirs, but Lee Miringoff of theMarist College poll noted time is growing short.

"This is the time to make your intentions known, regardless ofthe nuance of what Rudy may or may not say about it," Miringoffsaid Tuesday.

Miringoff said Republicans hoping to win any office in a statedominated by Democratic voters need to establish name recognitionand raise millions of dollars during what could potentially be abig year for Republicans.

The off-year elections in November toppled many Democrats andpolls show flagging support for President Barack Obama and otherparty members. Paterson is seeking election and his polls arerising, but from low levels. Also, Democrats control stategovernment, but hard fiscal times such as these often hurtincumbents.

"It might look like a good Republican year, despite this beinga very blue state," Miringoff said. "But they have to field astrong team and they aren't there yet."

Besides Lazio, Erie County Executive Chris Collins, a Republicanformer businessman and proven fundraiser, also is exploring a bidfor governor.

Guy Molinari, former Staten Island borough president, formercongressman and a leader in GOP politics statewide, said before theannouncement that he would be disappointed if Giuliani decidedagainst running.

"We are in critical times right now and we need him badly, buthe has to make a personal decision," Molinari said.

King, a Long Island Republican, praised Lazio as thoughtful andhardworking, but said before the announcement he thought Giulianiwould be the GOP's strongest candidate against Paterson.

"He had 100 percent name recognition and he's a leader at atime when people are really questioning Democrats," King said."Rudy would be best."

Giuliani's consulting business, Giuliani Partners, isflourishing. This month it landed a contract with Rio de Janeiro tohelp make the city safer before it is the site of the 2016Olympics. On Tuesday, the mayor said the commitments of that jobmade it impossible to run for office.

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