KINDERHOOK–In a statement released Monday, May 2, Congressman Chris Gibson (R-19th) said he would not run for governor of New York in 2018.
Mr. Gibson had previously said he would not run this fall for a fourth two-year term in the House of Representatives but had specifically left open the possibility of seeking an unspecified statewide office.
The congressman, who won reelection in 2014 with about 65% of the vote, said in his statement, “I was just offered and accepted a position with Williams College as a visiting lecturer on leadership beginning in February 2017, and anticipate accepting other academic positions shortly. Ultimately, for our family, the opportunity to spend increased time together balanced with a return to academia was one we could not pass up.”
Mr. Gibson lives in Kinderhook. He holds a master’s degree and a PhD in government from Cornell University. He retired as a highly decorated colonel from the U.S. Army and is the author of a book on national security decision-making, “Securing the State” (Routledge, 2008).
“Over the past 35 years, I’ve had the great honor and privilege of serving our country–first, for 29 years in the military and now 6 in Congress,” Rep. Gibson said in his statement, adding. “In recent months, my family and I have had the opportunity to travel New York State, meeting new friends in 48 counties. I appreciate greatly the warm welcomes and support I have received, and the time so many have dedicated to our mission to change the state. For that, I can only say thank you.
“The last year has also brought into greater clarity what our next steps should be as a family. Mary Jo and I have three teenagers who are in their last years at home.”
He said he will be “leaving politics and starting this new direction with my family. In the near-term, I will be closing my exploratory committee. For our donors to that committee, we’ll be refunding contributions we’ve received.”
He also said, “I will be working hard to finish strong and transition well to whomever voters choose as the next representative for the 19th District. I truly believe that this is an exceptional country and our best days are still in front of us.
“Thank you for the opportunity to serve.”
The latest data listed by the state Board of Elections show four candidates have submitted filings to run in one or more of five different party primaries next month. There will be primary elections June 28 to select the nominees who will appear on the Democratic, Republican, Conservative, Independence and Reform ballot lines.
The 19th District includes all of Columbia and all or parts of 10 other counties in the Hudson Valley and Catskills.
Kinderhook resident John Faso, one of three candidates seeking the GOP nomination in the 19th District issued a statement calling the congressman “a true American patriot.” He congratulated Mr. Gibson and his wife on their decision, and said, “Williams College is lucky to have Chris joining their faculty next year.”
Ed Cox, the chairman of the state Republican Party praised Mr. Gibson’s service in the military, including his role in supervising U.S. humanitarian aid to Haiti after a devastating earthquake there. Mr. Gibson leaves office with “New York and the nation better for his service, and we are grateful for the time he dedicated to the people of our great state,” Mr. Cox said.