Former Tennessee congressman Harold Ford Jr. has decided not to run against incumbent Senator Kirsten Gillibrand in the primary this fall, reports the New York Times. Ford believed he could defeat Gillibrand, the paper says, but ultimately felt that bowing out of the race would be the best decision, as he refused to do anything that would “help Republicans win a Senate seat in New York, and give the Senate majority to the Republicans.”
“I’ve examined this race in every possible way, and I keep returning to the same fundamental conclusion: If I run, the likely result would be a brutal and highly negative Democratic primary — a primary where the winner emerges weakened and the Republican strengthened,” Ford wrote in an op-ed to be published in Tuesday’s Times.
Ever since Ford, who moved to New York in 2006, said he was “weighing a bid” in early January, Democratic leaders have urged the Merrill Lynch vice-chairman not to run. Senator Chuck Schumer met with Ford one-on-one in an attempt to dissuade him, and even the White House offered support for Gillibrand.
Ford Decides Not to Run [City Room/NYT]