Jan. 19, 2010 -- Harold Ford Jr. has taken a leave of absence from his Wall Street job so he can have more free time to travel around New York state and decide whether to run for U.S. Senate.
A spokesman tells The Associated Press that Ford took a 30-day leave from his job as vice chairman of Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
Davidson Goldin said Tuesday Ford wants to focus on "listening to New Yorkers and discussing his goals as an independent Democrat" while he decides whether to challenge Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (KEHR'-sten JIL'-uh-brand) in the Democratic primary.
The former Tennessee congressman has been meeting with elected officials and other political operatives recently. He plans to travel to Long Island this week and upstate next week.