AP: Giuliani To Endorse Lazio For Governor


giuliani1Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani is expected to endorse Republican Rick Lazio for governor today, according to a Republican familiar with the plan. Giuliani’s plan was confirmed by a GOP official¬†who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the official wasn’t authorized to speak about the endorsement.

Lazio, a former congressman from Long Island, announced his candidacy in September for the 2010 race. He’s been campaigning since.

Giuliani spokeswoman Maria Comella didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment late Monday. Giuliani, known as America’s mayor for his leadership after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, has refused to say if he will run for U.S. Senate or any other office in 2010.

Lazio, who was trounced by Hillary Rodham Clinton for Senate in 2000, also didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Erie County Executive Chris Collins also is exploring a bid for the Republican nomination for governor. He had said he was awaiting a decision by Giuliani on whether the former mayor would run for governor. A month ago, Republicans close to Giuliani said he was leaning toward running for the seat now held by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a Democrat appointed by Democratic Gov. David Paterson to fill Clinton’s seat when she became secretary of state.

Paterson is seeking a full term in 2010, and Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is expected to be weighing what would be his second run at the job. Polls show Cuomo with a huge advantage over Paterson and Lazio.

Lazio has won the endorsement of more than a half-dozen local leaders of the Republican and Conservative parties statewide.

On Monday, he was endorsed by Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente Jr. and Oneida County Republican Party Chairman George Joseph.

“I urge my fellow county chairmen to get behind Rick Lazio today,” Joseph said. “It’s time we take back New York from the politicians and special interests. It’s time for new ideas and new leadership. It’s time for Rick Lazio.”

{CBS Broadcasting/Noam Amdurski-Matzav.com Newscenter}