Paychex Inc. founder Thomas Golisano will not run for governor of New York.
Ending months of speculation over whether he would mount a fourth run for the post, Golisano today issued a terse press release stating he would not seek the Republican, Conservative or Independence Party gubernatorial nominations.
After three self-financed, unsuccessful runs as an Independence Party candidate, Golisano, a billionaire and an Independence Party founder, last fall switched his party registration to the GOP. He retired as Paychex CEO in 2004, but remains chairman.
He also mounted a Golisano for Governor Web site that states one “does not have to be born into the Republican Party to be a good Republican. After all, Ronald Reagan, Rudy Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg all switched parties to become Republicans.”
As a GOP gubernatorial hopeful, Golisano could have been forced to run in a primary against former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld, the candidate favored by Republican state chairman Stephen Minarik III.
“I have made my decision based upon personal and professional reasons,” Golisano said in the prepared statement. “I will continue my philanthropic activity. I am committed to the economic development of New York as well as promoting responsible government.”
Golisano’s office said he is making no public statement beyond the news release.
Minarik said today he was â€œsurprisedâ€ by Golisanoâ€™s decision and that Golisano had not consulted with him before bowing out of the race.
â€œTom Golisanoâ€™s his own man,â€ Minarik said. â€œHe goes his own way. I respect his decision and wish him well.â€
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