NEW YORK (CNN) – This time, Rick Lazio isn't deferring to Rudy Giuliani.
The former Republican congressman from Long Island is expected Tuesday morning to formally announce that he's running for governor of New York. The announcement, scheduled to take place in Albany, New York, comes as former New York City mayor and 2008 GOP presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani contemplates his own bid for the governor's office. Giuliani has said he will decide on a run later this year.
It was a different story in the 2000 campaign, when Lazio deferred to Giuliani in the race to take on then-First Lady Hillary Clinton for an open U.S. Senate seat in New York. Lazio held back as Giuliani declared his candidacy. When Giuliani dropped out of the race five months before Election Day, Lazio stepped in as his replacement, losing to Clinton in by 12 points.
Most recent polls of Republican voters in New York suggest Giuliani would trounce Lazio in a hypothetical GOP primary matchup. Those same surveys indicate Lazio and New York Gov. David Paterson are deadlocked in a hypothetical general election matchup.