Former NY governor never found his place in bombastic campaign

By Kevin E. Foley

Former New York governor George Pataki, who lives in Garrison, has told supporters in New Hampshire he is withdrawing from the race for the Republican presidential nomination. Pataki has mostly campaigned in New Hampshire and had hoped, when he announced in May 2015, he could get into contention with a strong showing in the granite state.

Pataki announced his withdrawal in a two-minute spot on NBC. He also sent a similar message to South Carolina and Iowa supporters.

Former New York governor George Pataki (campaign photo)
Former New York governor George Pataki (campaign photo)

“While tonight is the end of my journey for the White House as I suspend my campaign for president, I am confident we can elect the right person — someone who will bring us together and who understands that politicians, including the president, must be the people’s servant and not their master,” he said.

In a year that saw 17 Republicans declare their candidacies, Pataki never registered with GOP voters. His more moderate gubernatorial record, his absence from national politics for more than a decade, his low-key campaign style and his inability to raise money all combined to cast him aside in the aggressive campaign scrum. The year saw a campaign much more stridently conservative in tone and substance than Pataki could muster. Pataki was the only Republican to declare he would not support fellow New Yorker Donald Trump, who continues to lead in polls nationally and in New Hampshire.

A Dec. 11 poll in New Hampshire by Boston public radio station WBUR had Pataki at essentially zero support, having declined from 1 percent the month before. Pataki is reported to have last campaigned in New Hampshire on Dec. 4.

Given his low poll numbers Pataki was relegated to the undercard televised debates and was likely to be eliminated all together in the debate before the New Hampshire primary in early February.

Behind The Story

Type: News

News: Based on facts, either observed and verified directly by the reporter, or reported and verified from knowledgeable sources.

Foley is the former managing editor of The Current and a partner in foleymyers communications in Northampton, Massachusetts.