Congressman Chris Gibson, R-Kinderhook, has announced that he will not run for New York State Governor in 2018. Gibson was widely considered as a possible candidate for the 2018 gubernatorial election against Andrew Cuomo.
But on Monday, Gibson announced he intends to step away from politics entirely. Gibson released a statement regarding the reasoning behind his decision. He cited time with his family as one of the primary reasons for stepping away from politics.
“The last year has also brought into greater clarity what our next steps should be as a family,” Gibson said. “Mary Jo and I have three teenagers who are in their last years at home. In addition, 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.”
Many prominent Republicans released statements wishing Gibson well as he transitions into his new life, including Rob Astorino, the Republican Westchester County Executive who challenged Cuomo in 2014. Astorino wouldn’t rule out a possible return by Gibson in the future and believes he will be back in public service at some point, saying, “Chris Gibson is a good man who has served our nation and our state with distinction, pride and integrity. While he is leaving the political arena, I hope that he will continue to be a voice for New Yorkers who are suffering in a stagnant economy and a state government under a massive cloud of corruption. I will always count Chris as a friend, and wish him and his family all the best in this new endeavor. I’m confident this won’t be the last we hear of him.”
In a statement, Marc Molinaro, Dutchess County Executive, said, “I am tremendously grateful to Chris Gibson for his selfless sacrifice on behalf of this nation and his service in the House of Representatives. While I would have gladly supported him for higher office, I am happiest to call him my Congressman, and he and his wife, my friends.”
Gibson graduated from Siena College near Albany and later earned his doctorate at Cornell University. He served 29 years in the military, including four tours in Iraq, and retired as a colonel in the United States Army.
After his time in the military, he taught at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and then ran for the 20th Congressional District seat in the House of Representatives and won, defeating incumbent Scott Murphy. In 2012, Gibson was redistricted from the 20th to the 19th District, and went on to defeat Julian Schreibman and Sean Eldridge in the following elections.