Powell: I Don't Aspire to Elected Office

Secretary of State Colin Powell (search) said Thursday he won't seek political office, dismissing suggestions that he run for governor or senator in New York.

Asked about a poll that shows him favored in a hypothetical matchup for the governor's race, Powell said, "I'm not going to be running for office even in my beloved home state of New York, as flattering as that poll might be."

The Quinnipiac University Polling Institute poll showed Powell leading Democrat Eliot Spitzer (search), New York's attorney general, 47 percent to 42 percent if they were the candidates for governor.

Some state Republicans have urged Powell to wage a different campaign in 2006: challenging Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (search), D-N.Y.

Powell shot down the idea of entering either race while attending a meeting of NATO (search) foreign ministers in Brussels.

"I don't think I've ever said I wouldn't be interested in public life again," Powell said. "I think I've repeatedly said over the course of nine-plus years that I've had no interest in political office."

Some Republicans began talking up Powell immediately after he announced on Nov. 15 he would be leaving the State Department.

New York's Republican Gov. George Pataki has not yet said whether he will seek a fourth term.

The telephone poll of 1,186 registered voters was conducted Dec. 3-6 and has a sampling error margin of plus or minus 3 percentage points.