Former Pataki aide joins Giuliani campaign

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - A former top aide to George Pataki has signed on with Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani, another sign that a White House bid by the one-time New York governor is unlikely.

Michael McKeon, a former chief spokesman for Pataki, and Jim Dyke, who served as chief spokesman for the Republican National Committee, have been hired as senior communications advisers to Giuliani.

While Pataki has been considering a bid for the GOP presidential nomination, he has not mounted any solid effort and told supporters in New Hampshire earlier this year they should feel free to back other candidates.

Also, a longtime political adviser to Pataki, Kieran Mahoney, has become an adviser to the GOP presidential campaign of former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore.

Mahoney and McKeon are both partners at Mercury Public Affairs, a New York City-based public relations-consulting firm that also has ties to the GOP presidential campaign of Sen. John McCain of Arizona.

McKeon said he spoke to Pataki about the Giuliani job before taking it and said his former boss was supportive. McKeon refused to say whether he thought Pataki would enter the race.

"He told me he was going to continue to concentrate on policy over politics and go from there," McKeon said.

Pataki served as governor from 1995 to 2006.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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