George Pataki, the former Republican governor of the state of New York, has become the first-ever politician of Hungarian heritage to launch a presidential bid in the United States after announcing that he is standing to become the Republican Party’s presidential candidate.
The announcement was made by Mr. Pataki himself on his website on Thursday. The 69-year-old, who served as governor of the state of New York for three terms from 1995 to 2007, has become the first-ever US politician partly with a Hungarian family background ever to run for President of the United States. He belongs to the more moderate wing of the Republican Party, which is seeing several strongly conservative politicians competing to become the party’s ultimate candidate.
Mr. Pataki, who also has an Irish and an Italian line of ancestry, graduated from Yale University in 1967 and became a doctor of law after completing Columbia University’s law school in 1970. His political career began in 1981, when he became mayor of his hometown of Peerskill, New York; later, he became a member of the state’s assembly and senate before beginning his first term as governor in 1995.
Mr. Pataki’s grandfather János Pataki emigrated from the Hungarian village of Aranyosapáti to the United States in 1908; his paternal grandmother was also Hungarian-born. The politician, who speaks some Hungarian himself, was rumoured to stand for President previously in 2000 and 2008.