© 2024 Western New York Public Broadcasting Association

140 Lower Terrace
Buffalo, NY 14202

Mailing Address:
Horizons Plaza P.O. Box 1263
Buffalo, NY 14240-1263

Buffalo Toronto Public Media | Phone 716-845-7000
WBFO Newsroom | Phone: 716-845-7040
Your NPR Station
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Ford declines to run against Gillibrand

By WBFO News

New York, NY – Former Tennessee Congressman Harold Ford, Jr. has dropped his bid to challenge Kirsten Gillibrand for her US Senate seat. Ford says that a Democratic primary battle between he and Gillibrand would likely be so highly negative that it would accomplish little beyond strengthening the Republican candidate in the race.

Ford claims he would have won the primary race. But he announced Monday night in a New York Times op-ed that he decided not to run. He said Tuesday on MSNBC that he hopes "another opportunity presents itself."

"It would have been a close, tough, tough fight," he said. "The last thing I wanted to see was for this seat to go Republican."

Ford moved to New York after losing the 2006 U.S. Senate race in Tennessee, taking a job with Bank of America Merrill Lynch. He had spent the past seven weeks traveling the state and meeting with voters, Democratic dignitaries and elected officials to gauge support for a potential campaign.

The news about Ford was greeted with relief by some Democrats who feared a protracted primary battle would leave them vulnerable to a Republican challenge in November. State party chairman Jay Jacobs said Ford "sacrificed his opportunity for the greater good."