U.S. Rep. Chris Collins will not run for governor in 2014, saying that he’s focused on his first term as a newly elected congressman from western New York.

Collins, who spoke at the Conservative Party’s annual convention here at the Holiday Inn in Colonie outside of Albany, said in an interview afterword that a statewide run isn’t a possibility.

“I can assure you that’s off the table,” he said in an interview.

Collins, the former Erie County executive, was considered a rising star in the Republican Party and a likely candidate for governor in 2010.

But a well-publicized gaffe in which he compared Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver to the anti-Christ (it was an ill-advised joke that Collins said he later regretted).

Ultimately, Buffalo businessman Carl Paladino challenged Democrat Andrew Cuomo. Collins pushed Paladino’s candidacy, and while Cuomo won in a landslide, western New York counties went to the Republican.

In 2011, Collins’ political career took a hit when he lost re-election for county executive to Democrat Mark Poloncarz, who won the last-minute endorsement of Cuomo.

Collins in 2012 then launched a successful campaign for the House seat held by Democratic Rep. Kathy Hochul, who had won a hotly contested special election against Assemblywoman Jane Corwin in one of the most Republican districts of the state.

Despite ruling out a run, his appearance and speech at the first day of the two-day conference is a sign that he’s more than pleased to keep his profile up among Conservative Party leaders and advocates across New York.

Attendees at the convention tend to be both on-the-ground chairmen, political consultants and those who mobilize a small, but very politically active voter base.

Introduced as one of the “bright spots” of the 2012 election season, Collins told attendees at the Conservative Party confab that the House GOP is trying to the hold line on debt and spending issues, even if they’re out numbered by President Obama and a Democratic-led U.S. Senate.

“We just went through another debt limit crisis and I hate to tell you they’re going to keep coming,” Collins said, noting that the House Republicans are trying to corner the Senate into passing a budget for the first time in years.

He said that eliminating trillion-dollar plus deficits is “attainable” in about a decade, but can’t be accomplished overnight.

“We deserved a deflated federal bureaucracy… instead we’ve entered the twilight zone of big government,” he said.