NY-Sen B: Nothing to see here

Former Governor George Pataki has decided not to run for Senate against Kirsten Gillibrand this year, the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday.

Instead, he said in an interview Tuesday that he would create a new national organization aimed at building support to repeal the recently enacted health-care overhaul.

Mr. Pataki's decision to bypass the Senate race marks another major coup for Ms. Gillibrand, who has been enormously successful in knocking out competition on both sides of the aisle despite appearing to be vulnerable politically.

I agree with Phillip Anderson of The Albany Project blog; it sounds like Pataki wants to run for president. He must be delusional if he thinks he has a chance in a GOP primary with his relatively moderate record as governor.

A year ago, Gillibrand seemed less than secure for the 2010 election, but various potential high-profile challengers have declined to take on this race. (New York's other U.S. Senate race has always been in the safe D category with Chuck Schumer.) Taniel of the Campaign Diaries blog noted yesterday that with Gillibrand no longer threatened, the last Senate seats that could still become competitive are Washington and Wisconsin. I think three-term incumbent Patty Murray would prevail even if the GOP's best candidate, Dino Rossi, got in the race. Ditto for Senator Russ Feingold against the GOP's dream recruit, former Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson.

UPDATE: Unintentional comedy alert as new Republican enters race against Gillibrand. He is David Malpass, who was chief economist for Bear Stearns from 2001 until the company collapsed in 2008.

Tags: 2010 elections, Congress, Senate, New York, George Pataki, Kirsten Gillibrand, WI-Sen, Russ Feingold, WA-Sen, NY-SEN, Tommy Thompson, Patty Murray, Dino Rosi (all tags)

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