In a stunning announcement, Republican Chris Gibson has announced he will not be running for governor of New York in 2018.

Gibson’s office issued a press release moments ago that stated “the opportunity to spend increased time together” with his family combined with various job opportunities in academia had prompted this decision.

The statement reads in part:

“I will not be running for Governor in 2018.  At the conclusion of my term in the U.S. House of Representatives, 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.”

Just two weeks ago, Gibson had been described as “almost a sure bet to be running for NYS Governor in 2018.”

He even boasted that “If I decide to run against Andrew Cuomo in 2018, I am confident that I will beat him.”

Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro issued the following response:

“I am tremendously grateful to Chris Gibson for his selfless sacrifice on behalf of this nation and his service in the House of Representatives. While I would have gladly supported him for higher office, I am happiest to call him my Congressman, and he and his wife, my friends.”

This announcement will no doubt leave Republicans scrambling for a replacement to take on Cuomo. Gibson had crossover appeal as a moderate Republican in the Empire State.

 

Gibson is a retired Army colonel, having served in the First Gulf War, Kosovo, and Iraq.  He has earned four Bronze Stars, two Legions of Merit, and one Purple Heart award during his career.  In short, he was a decorated war hero long before he became an accomplished congressman.

He will be missed, though we wish him well on his next endeavor.

Full text of Gibson’s statement follows:

“Over the past 35 years, I’ve had the great honor and privilege of serving our country – first, for 29 years in the military and now six in Congress.  In recent months, my family and I have had the opportunity to travel New York State, meeting new friends in 48 counties.  I appreciate greatly the warm welcomes and support I have received, and the time so many have dedicated to our mission to change the state.  For that, I can only say thank you.

“The last year has also brought into greater clarity what our next steps should be as a family.  Mary Jo and I have three teenagers who are in their last years at home.  In addition, I was just offered and accepted a position with Williams College as a Visiting Lecturer on Leadership beginning in February 2017, and anticipate accepting other academic positions shortly.  Ultimately, for our family, the opportunity to spend increased time together balanced with a return to academia was one we could not pass up.

“Therefore, I will not be running for Governor in 2018.  At the conclusion of my term in the U.S. House of Representatives, 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.

“I will be working hard to finish strong and transition well to whomever voters choose as the next Representative for the 19th District.  I truly believe that this is an exceptional country and our best days are still in front of us.

“Thank you for the opportunity to serve.”