By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated July 30, 2003 04:02 PM

Ceaseless speculation and second-guessing over whether Arnold Schwarzenegger will run for governor of California on the Republican ticket is about to be permanently terminated.

The “Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines” star, 56, citing concerns about his family, is now about to announce that he will not seek office in a special October election, an aide, requesting anonymity, told Reuters on Tuesday.

“There are still several things he needs to do to close the book on this, but that’s the direction he is headed in right now,” the aide said, adding, “For all I know George Bush Sr., Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford could all call and say, ‘Hey, we need you,’ but I don’t think a scenario is likely that would push him toward running.”

On Tuesday it was reported that Schwarzenegger had yet to reach a final decision, after both FOX News and a Sacramento Bee columnist quoted sources saying he would not participate in the unprecedented recall effort against California’s Democratic Governor Gray Davis. (The filing deadline for candidates seeking to replace Davis is Aug. 9.)

Some reports have speculated that Schwarzenegger’s wife, NBC news personality Maria Shriver, 47 — who happens to be a member of the nation’s best-known Democratic family, as niece of former President John F. Kennedy — opposes her husband’s entry into high-profile politics.