updated 8/26/2011 2:23:32 PM ET 2011-08-26T18:23:32

Former New York Gov. George Pataki (pa-TAH'-kee) says he won't seek the Republican nomination for president.

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The former three-term governor had been considering a run for months and had been trying to build support in the important primary states of Iowa and New Hampshire.

He said Friday he will continue to speak publicly about the need to get the national debt under control.

It is the third time Pataki declined to run for president after publicly exploring the possibility.

It would have been a tough road for Pataki, who supports abortion rights and other socially progressive issues. Political analysts have said he would have a difficult time winning the nomination through a GOP primary process dominated by more conservative voters.

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