Sean Hannity’s threat this week to bolt New York is sparking speculation he will someday run for office.
A source who was on Hannity’s Fox News show last fall told The Hill the conservative commentator mentioned the possibility — off camera — of running in Florida.
On his radio show, Hannity said he “can’t wait” to leave New York in the wake of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D) remarks that extreme conservatives have “no place” in the Empire State.
Hannity, a native New Yorker, has repeatedly ripped the state’s tax rates. He said he would move to Texas or Florida, which don’t have state income taxes.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) tweeted to Hannity this week that Texas “would be happy to have you.”
The 52-year-old Hannity, however, said he’s leaning toward Florida “because I like the water, and I like to fish.” He has a vacation house in Naples, Fla. Last year, Hannity told the Miami Herald, “If I could, I’d live there like yesterday.”
During an appearance on Greta Van Susteren’s “On the Record” Fox show Tuesday night, Hannity said his departure isn’t imminent.
Hannity noted his son is still in high school, and he has more than 100 staffers who work on his television and radio shows, suggesting it would be irresponsible to immediately move his media operation elsewhere.
He added, “As soon as I am able, some time probably when my son graduates from high school, I’m getting out of here as quick as I can.”
The Hill contacted Fox News, which referred to Hannity’s comments on Van Susteren’s show.
Hannity, whose time slot on Fox has been moved from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m., has said he likes his job and is a self-professed news junkie.
A source close to Hannity claimed that he’s been joking about a potential run for years.
In 2009, Hannity said on-air, “I would run for office at some point in my life.” But it didn’t appear that he was kidding.
Conservative commentator Michael Savage last year suggested Hannity should run for office.
“He should be a senator from Florida,” Savage said in an audio recording that has been posted on YouTube. “I’d vote for him. I’d campaign for him.”
Update: Hannity again referenced running for office on Tuesday night, saying on-air he might run in Texas or Florida.