Former Rep. Lazio to run for governor

Former Rep. Rick Lazio (R-N.Y.) will attempt a political comeback 10 years after his Senate race against Hillary Clinton.

From the New York Post:

Rick Lazio, the former Long Island congressman who tried to take on Hillary Rodham Clinton in 2000 for US Senate, will formally declare he's running for governor next Monday, The Post has learned.

Lazio's announcement, set for Albany next Monday, means that unlike 2000, when he deferred to Rudy Giuliani's expected campaign against Clinton, he is not waiting for the former mayor to decide his 2010 plans about a possible gubernatorial run.

It comes after months of the Republican hopeful meeting with politicos and donors, laying the groundwork for a campaign. He's amssed a $250,000 war chest and is expected to take a leave from his job at JP Morgan Chase.

He started letting people know about his decision in a letter mailed to supporters this weekend.

"The present government in Albany is broken. It is a national embarrassment," he wrote. "It can’t be fixed by tweaking it here and there. It is dysfunctional and we need to start all over from the beginning."

Interesting that this news comes the same day the Post's Fred Dicker puts out a feeler on Rudy Giuliani potentially running for Senate. Lazio is either no longer waiting for Giuliani on the governor's race, or he's got some intel that suggests America's Mayor is headed in another direction.

Whether that's the Senate, of course, is another question.

Lazio also gives the GOP a viable alternative in case Gov. David Paterson (D) somehow winds up as his party's nominee next year. If state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo (D) gets in the race, though, we can probably declare it over immediately.