A former Bush adviser who many considered the most formidable Republican Senate candidate has decided he won't run against Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand. Even though Dan Senor had won the backing of some influential state Republicans, the defense expert, one-time spokesman for Iraq's coalition government, and husband of CNN's Campbell Brown won't pursue public office—yet. In a statement issued to the Post, Senor noted:

Over the past few weeks, I took a very serious look at running for the Senate seat in New York. I ultimately decided this wasn't the right time in my family and business life for me to run ... I will continue to look for ways to advance the policy debate here in New York, especially on issues that I am most concerned about: America's declining economic competitiveness, skyrocketing deficits and taxes, a national security strategy that is drifting and a morally equivalent foreign policy that is troubling. There are a number of terrific opportunities for Republicans in 2010—including in this Senate race—and I will lend a hand wherever I can be helpful. I love this state, and I intend to stay involved in matters that affect it.

Several candidates remain in the crowded race for the Republican nomination, including former Port Authority Commissioner and skilled ad-maker Bruce Blakeman, former Congressman and father of an American Idol judge Joe DioGuardi, and economist David Malpass. Daily News publisher Mort Zuckerman briefly considered running as a Republican, before dropping out. Even Diana Taylor—Mayor Bloomberg's girlfriend—has considered campaigning.