Giuliani is not running for New York Senate or governor

NEW YORK — Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, viewed by many New York Republicans as a savior for the struggling party, said Tuesday that he won’t run for political office next year and instead will concentrate on his lucrative law and consulting businesses.

“We have some pretty significant commitments next year that will really make it impossible for me to run full-time for office,” Giuliani said Tuesday at a news conference to endorse ex-congressman Rick Lazio for governor.

Giuliani said he thought about running for governor against Democratic Gov. David Paterson and in the U.S. Senate race next year against freshman Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand.

“At different times, I thought I might do it,” he said, but “it just isn’t the right time.”

He 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.”

Giuliani, whose most recent foray into politics ended with a stinging loss to John McCain in the race for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination, said there are strong GOP candidates for both Senate and governor, “and I want to start out by endorsing one, Rick Lazio for governor.”

Lazio replaced Giuliani on the ticket in the 2000 Senate race and went on to be trounced by Hillary Rodham Clinton. Giuliani withdrew from that race after getting prostate cancer and suffering a public breakup of his marriage.

Paterson appointed Gillibrand earlier this year to take over for Clinton after the former first lady became secretary of state. The 2010 election will decide who would serve out the balance of the term, through 2012.

Giuliani said ex-Gov. George Pataki and U.S. Rep. Pete King could be strong GOP candidates for Senate.