The motto of the Republican Party appears to be going quickly from “The more the merrier” to “All welcome” as the field of potential presidential candidates grows by the day. Former New York Governor George Pataki became the latest to enter the fray.
Mr Pataki released an announcement video on Thursday morning and formally announced later in the day. He is the second Republican to launch his presidential campaign in as many days, after Rick Santorum declared his candidacy on Wednesday.
While Mr Pataki has been mentioned as a possible presidential candidate over the last few cycles, this is his first time running. Here are five things to know about the former governor:
He is one of the more moderate Republican candidates
With a field that includes hardliners, like Ted Cruz and Mr Santorum, and a Libertarian, Rand Paul, Mr Pataki likely will stand out as a more moderate option in the Republican cache of candidates.
While he was a big-time proponent of tax cuts during his time as governor, he is also remembered as an environmentalist, pushing heavily for more environmental regulations and penalties. Mr Pataki also supports abortion rights and fought to oppose discrimination against gays.
He was New York’s governor during 9/11
Everyone remembers that George W. Bush was president when terrorists brought down the twin towers of the World Trade Centre, and just about everybody knows that Rudy Giuliani was mayor of New York City. But many have forgotten than Mr Pataki was New York’s governor at the time, despite his role in rebuilding and remembrance efforts.
He has never lost a political election
Starting with the mayoral election in his hometown of Peekskill, New York in 1982, Mr Pataki is undefeated in political elections. That record includes the 1984 run for the New York House, the 1992 state Senate race and three gubernatorial elections.
If he won, he would be the oldest ever to be sworn in as president
If Mr Pataki defies the odds and not only wins the Republican primary but wins the presidency – he will be 71 on Election Day 2016 – he would be the oldest president ever to take the oath of office.
He is the oldest of the Republican candidates and only Bernie Sanders, the 73-year-old Independent, is older than Pataki.
He would be the fifth governor of New York to become president
It has been decades since a former governor of New York was elected president, but that's been a fairly common route to the White House. If Mr Pataki were to win the presidency, he would be the fifth to go from New York governor to US president. The others are Martin Van Buren, Grover Cleveland, Theodore Roosevelt – Mr Pataki’s hero – and Franklin Roosevelt, NPR reported.
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