New York: Saul Rocks GOP With Decision to Exit Race

Posted November 21, 2007 at 3:09pm

In a major blow to Republicans, Andrew Saul (R), the wealthy and highly touted challenger to freshman Rep. John Hall (D), abruptly announced last week that he was pulling out of the race “due to personal reasons.”

Saul gave no further explanation for his decision to drop out, though it came just three days after The New York Times reported that Saul, who is vice chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, had accepted campaign contributions from developers who were bidding to build on MTA property in Manhattan. Saul also had come under public criticism recently for coming out in favor of a proposed fare hike for public transit in New York.

Republicans felt Saul had the perfect profile to take on Hall, who pulled an upset last year in the Hudson Valley district. Saul’s departure leaves Kieran Michael Lalor, a conservative Iraq War veteran, as the lone GOP candidate right now. Republicans believe they can find another strong challenger, but Hall’s position is considerably stronger than it was with Saul in the race.

— Josh Kurtz