Geraldo Rivera says no to Senate run, cites 'Lord of the Rin - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Geraldo Rivera says no to Senate run, cites 'Lord of the Rings'

By Ashley Killough, CNN
updated 9:15 AM EDT, Fri Jun 7, 2013

(CNN) -- Remember how Fox News host Geraldo Rivera said he was considering a U.S. Senate bid in New Jersey?

Well, he's not anymore.

In a Fox News Latino column that starts with a scene from the "Lord of the Rings," the longtime journalist said he realized a Republican running for the seat in a heavily-Democratic state and in an election with popular Newark Mayor Cory Booker as a potential rival, the race and money would "be as one-sided as Théoden faced when leading his riders against Mordor."

Théoden, King of Rohan, dies in the famous novel while facing an outsized army. "But because of his sacrifice the good guys ultimately win," Rivera wrote.

Following Sen. Frank Lautenberg's death on Monday, Republican Gov. Chris Christie announced a special election will be held in October to fill the remainder of the late Democrat's term through next year.

In his column, Rivera said the pushed-up timeline also forced his hand. After reaching out to former candidates, friends and colleagues this week--"frantically testing everything from my ideological viability to prospective budgets"--Rivera concluded he was no longer juiced to make a run.

"Ultimately, I concluded that whatever else it is, New Jersey politics is not a fantasy novel," he wrote. "For one thing, the energetic and engaging Mayor Booker is not the Dark Lord. And while I may be willing to die for the right cause, I'm not willing to bankrupt myself in a vain quest that is more Don Quixote than Lord of the Rings."

He also said his wife and two daughters "argued strenuously against a campaign odyssey that would exhaust our finances and expose us to the ravages of unlimited Super PAC money and tabloid scrutiny."

"For their sakes and mine, I have decided reluctantly not to run," he added.

He also discussed his decision on "Fox and Friends" Friday morning.

Rivera announced in February that he was considering a bid for Lautenberg's seat in 2014, saying at the time that New Jersey needed a "modern Republican" like himself in Washington.

Voters in the state seemed to disagree, with polling suggesting that Rivera would trail Newark, New Jersey Mayor Cory Booker, who appears close to announcing a Democratic Senate bid, by a more than two to one margin in a hypothetical general election matchup.

New Jersey voters have not sent a Republican to the U.S. Senate in more than 40 years.

CNN's Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.


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