Dan Senor, an investment manager and former George W. Bush administration official who had been courted by Republicans to run for Senate in New York this year, has decided to sit it out.
In a statement released Thursday Senor, 38, said he seriously considered a race against Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand this fall.
"I ultimately decided this wasn’t the right time in my family and business life for me to run," he said. "I was privileged to meet so many thoughtful, impressive, and energetic people as I explored this race, and I was very gratified by their enthusiasm."
The Jewish Week last week noted that insiders were skeptical that Senor would run because he has two young children and recently founded the investment firm Rosemont Solebury Capital Management.
But David Luchins, a political science professor at Touro College and former aide to Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, said Senor had likely concluded that the odds were against him.
"He can count," said Luchins. "The polls show that the only Republican who has a real shot against Gillibrand is George Elmer Pataki. He was a well-liked, popular governor.’
Already declared in the race against Gillibrand, a former upstate congresswoman appointed by Gov. David Paterson to finish the term of Hillary Rodham Clinton when she became secretary of state, are Bruce Blakeman, a former Nassau legislator, former Westchester congressman Joe DioGuardi and economist David Malpass.
A Siena poll this month showed Pataki with 45 percent in a hypothetical match-up against Gillibrand, who would win 38 percent. Blakeman would get only 24 percent to Gillibrand’s 48 percent if they faced off, the poll said.
"Pataki and Pat Moynihan are the only two office holders in New York in the last half-century to leave office while they were still at the peak of their game," said Luchins. Pataki, elected in 1994, chose not to run for a fourth term in 2006.
In an interview with the Daily News’ Elizabeth Benjamin, Pataki, who is now a lawyer in private practice, left the door open for a return to politics. "I have yet to conclude definitively what I may or may not do," he said. "I think it’s important that we have a strong candidate, strong candidates, for the Senate as well as a strong candidate for governor…and I think we will."