Former New York Gov. George Pataki announced his candidacy Thursday -- first on YouTube, then at an event in New Hampshire. The 9/11-era governor served three terms in his Democratic state.
Pataki told supporters an intrusive government is jeopardizing freedoms. He said: "It is to preserve and protect those freedoms that I announce I'm a candidate for president of the United States."
Pataki is an underdog in a GOP field with better-known rivals. He's been out of public office since 2006.
The low-key Republican moderate flirted with presidential runs in 2008 and 2012 but stopped short. He hopes to reignite the unity that emerged after the 2001 terrorist attacks.
Pataki served three terms as governor after defeating Mario Cuomo in 1994.