One day after former Tennessee Congressman Harold Ford Jr. announced he wouldn't run for Senate, real estate billionaire and Daily News publisher Mort Zuckerman also bailed out of the race. Unlike Ford, who claims he quit to avoid an ugly primary, the 72-year-old said he won't run because he's too busy with family and business obligations: "[I]t is very difficult to see how I can devote the necessary time to either a campaign, or to working in Washington, if I were to win."

According to the Daily News, "Mr. Zuckerman pointed out that he has a young family, which is the most important focus in his life." The possible Republican and Independent candidate also said he didn't want to leave his position as CEO of Boston Properties so soon after the death of the real estate firm's co-founder Ed Linde.

I believe that there is a great deal that needs to be achieved in Washington, not only on behalf of the people of New York, but in trying to break some of the paralyzing deadlock that has gripped the political decision-making process ... However, it demands unhindered attention, which I am unable to give at this time.

The Washington Post reports that Zuckerman was also motivated to drop his bid because he doesn't want to sever his ties to non-profits and other associations—many of them pro-Israel, according to Politico. With Ford and Zuckerman out, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand has a much easier path towards election. But the Paterson-appointee could still face challenges from possible Republican candidates including former Port Authority Commissioner Bruce Blakeman, economist David Malpass, and former Bush advisor Dan Senor.