Bill Weld Quits New York Governor’s Race

Bill Weld, Republican Governor of Massachusetts from 1991 to 1997, is dropping his bid to be governor of New York.

GOP candidate Bill Weld is ending his bid for governor and clearing the way for former Assembly minority leader John Faso. Weld has scheduled a news conference at his Manhattan offices this morning to make the announcement.

Stephen Minarik, chairman of the state Republican Party, asked candidate Weld to drop out of the race in the interest of party unity at a press conference on Monday afternoon. Weld’s campaign said he spent Monday night weighing his options.

Weld was Minarik’s pick to replace Governor George Pataki, who is not seeking re-election, but the former Massachusetts governor failed last week to get the support of the majority of delegates at the state GOP Convention, losing out to Faso. Now Minarik says in the wake of Weld’s poor showing, the party shouldn’t be divided. “By ending his candidacy and supporting John Faso, Bill Weld will go a long way toward unifying our party and helping us reach our shared goal of defeating Eliot Spitzer, expanding our majority in the New York state senate, and taking back as many seats as possible in the New York State Assembly,” said Minarik.

A NY1/Newsday poll shows Weld badly trailing Faso in a Republican primary race. Head-to-head with Democrat Eliot Spitzer, Weld even trails among Republicans. Meanwhile, Faso has the support of state Senate Majority leader Joe Bruno. He picked up 61 percent of the delegates’ vote at the convention. But Faso would still face an uphill battle in the general election. Polls show him far behind Spitzer.

While Weld had name recognition, he never got much traction with New York Republicans, let alone likely general election voters. My guess is that this is not the year for a Republican to mount a big comeback in the polls, let alone in New York, to upset a popular Democrat.

If nothing else, maybe Weld’s people will stop spamming me with stupid press releases.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. McGehee says:

    Carpetbagging is so 2000.