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In a surprise, Chris Gibson says no to challenging Gov. Cuomo

Rep. Chris Gibson, R-N.Y., talks to a constituent

Rep. Chris Gibson, R-N.Y., talks to a constituent in his district office in Kinderhook, N.Y., Jan. 29, 2016. Gibson said Monday, May 2, 2016 he will not run for governor in 2018, ending months of public flirtation with running for the office. Photo Credit: AP / Mike Groll

Rep. Chris Gibson, who had been openly weighing a campaign for governor, announced Monday that he won’t run after all.

Gibson (R-Kinderhook), who had formed an exploratory campaign committee, said instead he will take a teaching job at Williams College in Massachusetts as part of a family decision.

“Mary Jo and I have three teenagers who are in their last years at home,” Gibson said in a statement. “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. Therefore, I will not be running for governor in 2018.”

Gibson, 51, earlier had said this, his third term in Congress, would be his last and that he was exploring a run for statewide office. He had been traveling around the state and his moderate-to-conservative voting record and military background made him a favorite candidate profile in some Republican circles. He had stepped up his criticism of Democratic Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.

So Gibson’s announcement came as a bit of a surprise.

Gibson was first elected to Congress in 2010, representing a district that runs from the Hudson Valley to the Southern Adirondacks, while circling around Albany.

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