Republican Congressman Chris Gibson announced he will not run for governor in 2018, paving the way for Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino to possibly once again become the Republican candidate for the position.
Gibson, who represents the 19th district, which includes a portion of Dutchess County, made his plans known in a statement. Gibson, was considered a possible Republican gubernatorial candidate in 2018 along with Astorino, who challenged incumbent Democrat Andrew Cuomo in 2014.
The congressman said he plans to leave politics and spend more time with his family when his term expires in 2018. He has accepted a position as a visiting lecturer on leadership at Williams College.
"Ultimately, for our family, the opportunity to spend increased time together balanced with a return to academia was one we could not pass up," Gibson said. "At the conclusion of my term, I will be leaving politics and starting this new direction with my family. In the near-term, I will be closing my exploratory committee. For our donors to that committee, we’ll be refunding contributions we’ve received."
Astorino issued a statement calling Gibson a "good man" who has served with "distinction, pride and integrity."
"While he is leaving the political arena, I hope that he will continue to be a voice for New Yorkers who are suffering in a stagnant economy and a state government under a massive cloud of corruption," Astorino said. " I will always count Chris a friend, and wish him and his family all the best in this new endeavor. I'm confident this won't be the last we hear of him."
In October, Gibson said Astorino would be taking away from his job as county executive if he ran for governor. Astorino told Gibson, "Do your job."
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