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Thursday, February 29, 2024

Another day, another Republican running for President?

Former New York governor George Pataki.  (AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt)
Former New York governor George Pataki. (AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt)

Politicians like to say a presidential campaign is a marathon, not a sprint. Republican George Pataki has taken almost a decade just to get to the starting line.

The former three-term New York governor is expected to announce his intentions for the 2016 presidential contest on Thursday after flirting with the idea in both 2008 and 2012. He’s scheduled to speak in Exeter, New Hampshire, which served as the state capital during the Revolutionary War and claims to be the birthplace of the Republican Party.

Pataki posted a video on his website declaring “the system is broken,” and talked about his experience as governor. “It’s time to stand up, protect our freedom and take back this government,” he says in the video, which notes it was paid for by “Pataki for President.”

Clearly a longshot, Pataki has cited his electoral success in a heavily Democratic state — he knocked off liberal icon Mario Cuomo to become governor in 1994 — and ability to work with Democrats as among his strengths. But he’s spent recent months promoting his conservative credentials, as those running for the Republican nomination invariably do.

In an earlier trip to New Hampshire, he campaigned against President Barack Obama’s health care law, criticized Obama’s executive order to offer protections against deportation to millions of immigrants living in the country illegally, and said the nation can’t afford another Democratic president. He also has called for less government spending and limiting government power.

“We’ve seen an explosion in government power from Washington and the government is far too big, far too powerful, far too expensive and far too intrusive,” Pataki said in New Hampshire earlier this year. “The need to reform Washington dramatically and reduce its power and influence has never been greater.”

Pataki, 69, has worked as a lawyer and opened a consulting firm since leaving office in 2006. He’s been a frequent visitor to the early nominating states of Iowa and New Hampshire over the years, and has made more than half a dozen trips to New Hampshire this year alone as he explored a 2016 campaign. His earlier efforts never resulted in a full-fledged campaign, however.

Known for his low-key style, he is trying to distinguish himself in a large pack of rivals, filled with big personalities.

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