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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The Contenders: George Pataki

posted by on February 28 at 15:02 PM

Sure, November 2008 is nearly two years away, but it’s apparently never too early to declare one’s intention to run for president, and thus it’s never too early to get to know the people who might be the next leader of the free world. This month we’ll be taking a brief look at them.


George Pataki

Party: Republican

Age: 62

Status: Undeclared

George Pataki was mentioned as a possible running mate for George Bush in the 2000 election, but has yet to step into the fray of the 2008 election. Like Giuliani, much of Patakiís reputation and legacy comes from his proximity to the 9/11 tragedy and its aftermath. Particularly memorable is Patakiís role in the re-building of the World Trade Center site. He intervened several times in the open selection design process to choose his preferred design from Architect Daniel Libeskind. In the spring of 2006, the Attorney General Eliot Spitzer (now governor) was quoted in the press as saying that the redevelopment was “an Enron-style debacle” and accused the Lower Manhattan Development Coalition of being “an abject failure” that “violated” its “duty to the public”.

Pataki grew up on a farm in Peekskill, NY. He graduated with from Yale in 1967 where he served as chairman of the Conservative Party of the Yale Political Union. He then received a JD from Columbia Law School in 1970 and a masters in 1971. After graduation, he returned home to Peekskill, where he won election as the Mayor in 1981. In 1985, he ran successfully for the state assembly district which includes parts of Westchester, Putnam and Duchess counties. He served in this position until 1992, when served one term in the state senate, representing Westchester County, before running for Governor.

In 1994, Pataki narrowly beat incumbent Democratic Governor Mario Cuomo with help from endorsements by NYC mayor Rudy Giuliani and US Senator Al DíAmato. His campaign focused on tax cuts and re-instating the death penalty. He was re-elected easily three times and served as governor until 2006.

His is known for his strong pro-environment stance, having taken up the mantle of Theodore Roosevelt in past campaign ads. He has worked to preserve open space and clean up the stateís rivers and lakes. He has said he would like to see the EPA have a cabinet-level position.

Pataki favors abortion-rights, but is against the morning after bill and supports the ban on partial birth abortions. He opposes same-sex marriage, but has generally supported many other gay rights issues.

Pataki and his wife Libby reside in Garrison in New York’s Hudson River Valley. They have four children: Emily, a Yale Law School graduate; Teddy, who serves in the United States Marine Corps; Allison, a student at Yale University; and Owen, a student at Cornell University.

Posted by Eli’s Intern: Sage Van Wing

Previously: John Edwards, John McCain, Bill Richardson, Mitt Romney, Hillary Clinton, Rudy Giuliani, Barack Obama, Sam Brownback, Christopher J. Dodd, Newt Gingrich, Dennis Kucinich, Mike Huckabee, Tom Vilsack, Joe Biden, Duncan Hunter, Tommy Thompson, Ron Paul, James Gilmore III, Tom Tancredo, and Wesley Clark.

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