Former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld (search) said he plans to seek the Republican nomination for governor of his native New York next year, according to a published report.

"My juices are really flowing for this race, and I want to return to public service," Weld told The New York Times in a telephone interview Thursday while on a business trip in Kentucky.

He said former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani (search) encouraged him to run.

Messages left at Weld's offices by The Associated Press early Friday were not immediately returned.

Gov. George Pataki said last month he would not seek a fourth term in office. Weld is among a host of Republicans eyeing the GOP nomination. State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer is the only Democrat seeking his party's nomination thus far.

A victory would make Weld the second American to serve as governor of two states. Sam Houston was governor of Tennessee from 1827 to 1829 and Texas from 1859 to 1861.

The millionaire lawyer was elected governor of Massachusetts in 1990 and was easily re-elected in 1994. After running unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate in 1996, Weld resigned as governor when then-President Clinton nominated him to become U.S. ambassador to Mexico a year later. The nomination was blocked in the Senate.

Weld, a partner in the New York investment firm Leeds Weld & Co. (search), 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.