Billionaire Zuckerman Won’t Seek New York Senate Seat

Posted March 2, 2010 at 8:14pm

Billionaire Publisher Mort Zuckerman will not run for New York Senate, the second high-profile figure in recent days to skip the race against Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D).

The New York Daily News reported Tuesday evening that Zuckerman, the newspaper’s publisher, decided against a Republican bid because of the time commitment required. “It is very difficult to see how I can devote the necessary time to either a campaign, or to working in Washington, if I were to win,” he said.

Republicans had been wooing Zuckerman, a registered Independent, to challenge Gillibrand, who was appointed to the post just over a year ago. His decision to pass on the race leaves them with several lesser known, and considerably less wealthy, possible challengers.

Former Rep. Harold Ford Jr. (D-Tenn.) announced Monday night that he would not take on Gillibrand in the primary, after spending several months testing the waters.

“In just a short time, Senator Gillibrand has proven herself to be an effective fighter for New York. She’s working hard, getting around the state, building coalitions of support — including some who were initially skeptical upon her appointment,” Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman Bob Menendez (N.J.) said in a statement Tuesday night. “But as we have seen time and time again, she is New York tough and she is impressing New Yorkers every chance she gets.”