updated 8/19/2005 12:40:17 PM ET 2005-08-19T16:40:17

Former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld said Friday he plans to seek the Republican nomination for governor of his native New York next year.

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If he wins the race to replace outgoing three-term incumbent George Pataki he would be only the second person in U.S. history to be governor of two states. Pataki has announced he would not seek a fourth term next year.

“We are both looking forward to working together toward a successful result next year,” Weld said after meeting with Stephen Minarik, the head of the state Republican Party.

Weld’s intention to run was first reported Friday in The New York Times, which quoted him as saying that “my juices are really flowing for this race, and I want to return to public service.”

Weld, a moderate Republican, has been calling top leaders of New York’s Republican and Conservative parties in recent days to talk with them about his interest in the race.

Weld, a partner in the New York investment firm Leeds Weld & Co., moved back to New York state in 2000, thus making himself eligible for the 2006 governor’s race. New York has a five-year residency requirement for gubernatorial candidates.

Sam Houston was governor of Tennessee from 1827 to 1829 and Texas from 1859 to 1861.

Weld is among a host of Republicans eyeing the GOP nomination for governor. State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer is, thus far, the only Democrat seeking his party’s nomination for the job.

“There’s a man named Eliot Spitzer who will be a factor,” Weld said of the governor’s race. “But the chairman and I both think the race is winnable with a proper campaign.”

The millionaire lawyer was elected governor of Massachusetts in 1990 and easily re-elected in 1994. He ran for U.S. Senate in 1996 but was defeated by Democratic incumbent John Kerry. Weld resigned as governor in 1997 when then-President Clinton nominated him to become U.S. ambassador to Mexico, but the nomination was blocked in the Senate.

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