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Jan 26, 2015 9:14 AM

Paul Steinhauser: Incoming blizzard shuts down Pataki's NH visit

NH1 Political Director - NH1.com

CONCORD - The powerful winter storm that's barreling towards New Hampshire has already claimed a political casualty: presidential campaigning.

Former New York Gov. George Pataki, who was scheduled to visit the first-in-the-nation primary state Tuesday and Wednesday, is postponing his trip. An advisor to Pataki tells NH1 that the trip will hopefully be rescheduled as early as next week.

The original itinerary had Pataki headlining a Cheshire County GOP dinner on Tuesday and speaking with students at Saint Anselm College in Goffstown on Wednesday.

The former three-term governor, who says he's seriously considering a run for the 2016 Republican presidential campaign, was just in New Hampshire two weeks ago.

"I expect to be in New Hampshire quite a bit," Pataki told NH1 last week. "One of the things I enjoy about New Hampshire is that it's retail politics. You sit across from people's tables and talk to them."

Pataki also announced last week that he'll serve as chairman and chief spokesman for a new super PAC called "We the People, Not Washington."

"I think it's a very important step" towards launching a campaign, Pataki told NH1.

Pataki said the super PAC will also provide him with the funds to travel to New Hampshire and other states as he seriously considers launching a campaign. By federal law, until he's a declared candidate, Pataki can coordinate with an outside group such as a super PAC.

"With federal campaign finance laws the way there are, at this point to become a formal candidate really doesn't make any sense. So the We the People super PAC gives me the opportunity to communicate with voters in New Hampshire and across the country to get the ideas and principals I believe in across."

Asked if he's concerned he'll be able to raise the money needed to run a campaign and grab the media spotlight needed to be successful when so many other bigger Republican names, such as Mitt Romney, Jeb Bush and Chris Christie are also seriously considering White House runs, Pataki said that "there are going to be a lot of very good candidates on the Republican side and that's good for the party and the country. But I believe in the message that I feel deeply, I believe in the vision that I have as to how we need to scale back the power, expanse, influence and control Washington has over too much of our lives. We need to not only reduce but reform the power of Washington."

Pataki added that he was a longshot when he first ran for New York governor in 1994, but that he outworked his opponents.

Pataki, who left office in early 2007, flirted with White House runs in 2008 and 2012.

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