Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani has been mentioned as a possible candidate for governor in New York in 2010, but GOP officials are readying a push to have him run for the Senate instead next year.
A Giuliani candidacy would pit him against Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who was appointed by Gov. David Paterson to fill Hillary Clinton's seat after she was named Secretary of State.
"I am picking up no support for Rudy for governor, but I'm hearing his name mentioned for U.S. Senate," one prominent New York Republican told Fredric Dicker's Inside Albany column in the New York Post.
Polls have shown Giuliani to be the strongest potential GOP candidate for governor, easily beating Democrat Paterson, who has said he will run next year.
But New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is expected to win the Democratic nomination, and he has a 9-point lead over Giuliani in a recent poll.
"It makes so much sense for Rudy to run for the Senate and not try to go head-to-head with Cuomo," another prominent Republican told the Post.
Giuliani, who sought the GOP's presidential nomination in 2008, would "have an immediate national platform in the Senate," Dicker observed. And since the winner of the 2010 special election would serve only the two years remaining on Clinton's term, Rudy could run for president again in 2012.
But if Giuliani ran for governor instead and won, he would likely have to remain in Albany for at least four years.
New York magazine recently reported that Giuliani "hasn't lost sight of his larger ambition in Washington," while "President Obama appears to be vulnerable and the Republican field in 2012 is open."
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