Diana Taylor turns down Senate bid

By A. James Memmott

June 7, 2010 at 8:04am

Add another prominent name to the list of people who decided against running for the U.S. Senate from New York state.

The New York Times reported last week that Diana L. Taylor, a Republican investment banker and one half of a power couple with New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, seriously considered a shot at the Senate.

Ultimately, she decided not to seek her party’s nomination to run against Democratic Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand.

Diana L. Taylor
Diana L. Taylor

Taylor, 55, was “very serious” about challenging Gillibrand, former Republican Rep. Bill Paxon told the Times.

Ultimately, she decided not to run for a variety of reasons, in part because she has a wide variety of commitments, the paper suggested.

The superintendent of banks in New York state from 2003 to 2007, Taylor is now a managing director of Wolfensohn & Co., a New York City investment bank.

She serves of the boards of Citigroup and Sotheby’s, among others. And she’s a trustee of Dartmouth College, her undergraduate alma mater.

Taylor also chairs the board of Accion International, a microfinance lender that has made more than $23 billion in small loans since 1998.

Both divorced, Taylor and Bloomberg have been together for about 10 years. They have resisted publicly discussing the possibility that they might marry.

Citing two anonymous sources who had spoken with Taylor and Bloomberg, the Times reported that the mayor had “misgivings” about Taylor running for the Senate.

One concern, the paper wrote, was that Taylor’s presence in the Senate, should she be elected, might raise questions about federal aid to the city.

His mayoral term ends in three years, and the Times suggested that she might then seek public office.

Meanwhile, the supposedly vulnerable Gillibrand, who was appointed last year to the Senate seat held by Hillary Rodham Clinton, is entering the campaign without a high-profile opponent.

The short list of well-known politicos who decided not to oppose her includes former Rep. Harold Ford Jr. and current Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney on the Democratic side.

Among the Republicans giving the race a pass are former New York Gov. George Pataki, former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and current Rep. Peter T. King.

The state Republican Party last week endorsed Bruce A. Blakeman, 54, a lawyer and former presiding officer of the Nassau County Legislature, to challenge Gillibrand.

Blakeman ran for state comptroller in 1998 but lost, and he was a candidate for New York mayor in 2009 before dropping out and backing Bloomberg.

He and his wife, Nancy Shevell, a millionaire businesswoman, are in the process of divorcing. Reportedly, she will marry Paul McCartney of Beatles fame when her divorce is final.

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  • #1.   Carrie B. 06.08.2010

    I love comparing how high-profile a candidate the GOP wanted (a Giuliani or a Bloomberg) to what they’ve settled with, Bruce Blakeman, who couldnt even win a vote for state comptroller! You’ve got to be kidding me, GOP! Gillibrand and D’Amato are laughing all the way to the bank!

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