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Giuliani says he won’t seek office in 2010

NEW YORK — After months of playing it coy and flirting with a bid for statewide office, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani said Tuesday that he won’t return to the campaign trail next year, leaving a wide-open field for New York Republicans interested in the gubernatorial and Senate races.

Giuliani, viewed by many New York Republicans as a savior for the struggling party, said his “significant commitments” to his lucrative law and consulting businesses made it impossible for him to run for office in 2010.

At a news conference to endorse ex-congressman Rick Lazio for governor, Giuliani said he had considered running against incumbent Democrat Gov. David Paterson and in the U.S. Senate race next year against freshman Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand.

Unwilling to bow to speculation that this might be the end of his political career, the 65-year-old said he wouldn’t rule out running for office in the future. “It’s a decision purely about 2010,” he said. “I have no idea whether I’ll run for something else.”

For months, the former mayor has been feeding speculation about a run. He made appearances on Sunday TV news shows, got national attention by opposing a terrorist trial in New York City, and wrote an opinion piece in The New York Times calling for an overhaul of state government.

His announcement clears the way for lower-profile Republicans to announce whether they’ll join nationally prominent contests.

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