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Giuliani won't run for governor or Senate, reports say

Giuliani, former New York mayor, is expected Tuesday to endorse Rick Lazio for governor. That takes him out of that race, and now it doesn't appear he'll run for the Senate, either.

By Ron SchererStaff writer / December 22, 2009

In this September 24 file photo, Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani speaks at the United Nations in New York.

Patrick Andrade/Reuters/File

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New York

Only a month ago, it looked as if former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani would run for the US Senate, renewing a political career after a failed bid for US president in 2008.

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But now, according to news reports, Mr. Giuliani has decided not to throw his hat into the ring to run against Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, the Democrat junior senator for New York. And he is not planning to run for New York governor, since he is planning to endorse former Rep. Rick Lazio (R) later on Tuesday.

“Rudy still wants to be a player, but I think Rudy knows his time has passed,” says Doug Muzzio, a professor at Baruch College in New York and a political commentator.

Giuliani has not specifically said that he will not run for a Senate seat. However, as Lee Miringoff of the Marist Poll notes, “The fact is he is not denying the reports. So in a sense, he is not running for anything.”

Political observers are not surprised that Giuliani would opt out of the race. In early polls, he was leading Senator Gillibrand, but just barely. A Nov. 24 poll by Zogby International found Giuliani ahead 45 percent to 43 percent.

“With someone like Rudy running, he had to prove he could put together a statewide campaign,” says president and CEO John Zogby. “He put together such a miserable presidential campaign.”

Some of Giuliani’s issues have also become out of date, Mr. Zogby says. For example, Giuliani continues to talk about 9/11, when he was a fixture on television and became known as “America’s mayor.” But now, as Zogby notes, “the voters are all about the economy.”

So instead of meeting and greeting voters at remote diners in the state, Giuliani could get back to doing what he seems to enjoy: being on the speaking circuit.

“He’s making money with a very successful global business,” Zogby says. “And he gets to do it without hyper-scrutinization.”

Giuliani’s anticipated endorsement of Mr. Lazio, combined with other party endorsements, is expected to make Lazio the front-runner for the Republican nomination for governor. Lazio, who is from Long Island, unsuccessfully ran against Hillary Rodham Clinton for a US Senate seat in 2000.

“Rudy endorsing Lazio is good for Rudy: He’s collecting some political chits,” says Professor Muzzio. But it’s not clear what he will use them for.

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