Former NY GOP governor Pataki in the race for president

FILE - In this April 17, 2015 file photo, former Gov., N.Y., George Pataki speaks in Nashua, N.H. Pataki is the latest Republican to get into the race for president. In a video posted Thursday morning on YouTube, Pataki says America needs to recapture the spirit of unity that spread through the country in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. He was in his second of three terms as governor when the attacks struck New York and Washington, and Pataki highlights his role in New York and the country's recovery in the video. (AP Photo/Jim Cole, File)

EXETER, N.H. — The Republican presidential race has another contender.

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.