Senator Kirsten Gillibrand continued to flex her fundraising muscles this quarter, raising $1.5 million in the last three months, which will leave her with $9.1 million on hand as she seeks reelection this year. Her campaign spending has been relatively light so far, as Ms. Gillibrand last reported having $8.3 million on hand.
In a press release this morning, Ms. Gillibrand’s campaign also touted a recent poll showing her ahead of her Republican rivals.
The Senate Seat
In a sign that the Republican contest for the U.S. Senate held by Kirsten Gillibrand is about to turn ugly, Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos just leveled one of the worst insults one can direct at a fellow Republican: “You are like Barack Obama.”
At issue is what Mr. Maragos labels ” a stunt” by Congressman Bob Turner in which he offers a free tank of gas to whichever supporter guesses the correct date on Ms. Gillibrand flips her position on the Keystone Pipeline project. Mr. Turner was using the project to tweak Ms. Gillibrand for marching in lockstep with President Obama, who now supports the project.
“Rep. Turner’s dare offering a free tank of gas for whoever guesses the time when Sen. Gillibrand will come out in support of the pipeline, is a joke and partisan politics at its worst,” Mr. Maragos said in a statement. “President Obama’s press conference was a meaningless political stunt as no federal approval is required for the now proposed construction of the domestic portion of the pipeline.”
By midnight last Thursday, most of the Republican establishment in New York State—the county chairmen waltzing in after a friendly dinner at the nearby Black and Blue Steak and Crab, along with the operatives who had grimly signed on for yet another round of longshot campaigns in a state that remains one of the most Democratic in the nation—was safely inside Legends, the downstairs bar at the Radisson Hotel in Rochester. Sipping beer, and spinning reporters, they eyed each other warily. In a few short hours the bleary-eyed contingent would gather again—this time on the floor of the Rochester Convention Center, a few flights up and a “skywalk” over from the Radisson—for that most of political endeavors. A convention-floor flight was in the offing. The result would determine who would carry the flag and soul of the party in the November elections.
Congressman Bob Turner’s surprise Senate campaign started too late for him to earn a spot on the Conservative Party ticket, but he still stopped by the convention where Wendy Long received the nomination today.
“I’m here today to pay my respects to the Conservative Party,” Mr. Turner said in a press conference held after his visit at the convention. “I would like very much to be on their nominating ballot, there’s a process in place and certain rules and my late entry in that has made this extraordinarily problematic.”
red vs blue
Earlier this evening, the State Republicans ultimately decided to place Rep. Bob Turner, Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos, and attorney Wendy Long all on the ballot where the winner will take on Democratic incumbent Senator Kirsten Gillibrand in November. And, as Republicans move with excitement towards their June 26th primary, the State Democratic Party issued a yawn via press release.
Mayor Bloomberg is visiting Singapore and Vietnam next week to “deliver a lecture on urban sustainability and deliver awards on behalf of his philanthropic foundation.” He is technically remaining in control of the city during his Asian trip.
Manhattan won’t get a casino if the Legislature’s plan to open seven commercial gambling facilities goes through this year.
Governor Andrew Cuomo on this week’s night of dealmaking and pre-dawn votes in The New York Times: “I failed. I failed. … “My legislative proposals were asking for the moon.”
The Post scores Governor Cuomo had a night of “legislative wins.” “I think legislators heard the message, and I think at the end of the day, the legislators did the right thing.”
exiting stage right
Well, that didn’t take long.
As Capital Tonight first reported, Rye Town Supervisor and hedge-fund manager Joe Carvin is no longer seeking the Republican nomination to challenge Senator Kirsten Gillibrand this November.
“My number one goal in entering the race was to ensure that the Republican Party had a nominee capable of defeating Ms. Gillibrand in November,” Mr. Carvin said in statement this morning. “But in the last several days – after Ms. Gillibrand was ranked the most left-wing senator in America by National Journal and after she voted for higher gas prices by opposing the Keystone XL Pipeline – I believe any of the candidates in this race can beat her.”
In the time since he has announced his intention to run for the Senate against Kirsten Gillibrand, Republican George Maragos has seen some would-be challengers for the G.O.P nomination float their names (Dan Senor) others take a long look at the race before deciding against it (Marc Cenedella) and still others decide at a late date to their hats in the ring (Wendy Long, Joe Carvin.)
Now, with the announcement that Bob Turner is joining that last group, Mr. Maragos, the Nassau County comptroller sounds determined to do what he has done so far and forge ahead without minding the competition.
king of queens
This morning, Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos announced another notable endorsement in his quest for the Republican nomination to challenge Senator Kristen Gillibrand. The Queens County Republican Party threw its support to Mr. Maragos, which should place him over the 25% threshold he needs at the state convention to automatically be on the primary ballot this June.
“New York is a melting pot of immigrants from all over the world who have built our great city and in doing so have achieved the American Dream,” Queens County Republican Chairman Phil Ragusa said in a statement about the Greek-born Mr. Maragos. “George Maragos is an example of the American Dream and will be an outstanding voice in Washington for the best interest of all New Yorkers. The Queens County GOP proudly endorses Mr. Maragos.”
The Republican race to challenge Kirsten Gillibrand is heating up, with Wendy Long, a conservative lawyer and Joe Carvin, an investor and Rye lawmaker, criscrossing the state in anticipation of the GOP convention later this month.
The duo have to catch up with Nassau comptroller George Maragos, who has been in the race for the better part of the year.
And this evening Mr. Maragos received a substantial bump in his efforts when he received the endorsement of perhaps the state’s highest ranking Republican official, Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos.