Empire State of Mind
February 16, 2010
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Who will be the next junior senator from the New York?
At first glance, it seems like a relatively simple question. The current appointed Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has the support of the White House. However, former Tennessee Rep. Harold Ford, Jr. is weighing a primary challenge. So far, everything he’s been doing the last few months indicates that he’s ready to take on the Establishment.
On the Republican side, there have been some interest from the usual suspects – Rudy Giuliani thought about it and took a pass, former Long Island Rep. Rick Lazio thought about it too, then decided to run for the governor’s mansion. Former Governor George Pataki seems to be the only major name to spring up on the GOP side. Pollster.com has Pataki trending upwards against Gillibrand, with Marist giving him a +6, and Siena a +13.
But then there was this almost overlooked article last week in the New York Times. It stated that Mort Zuckerman, the real estate and media baron is considering a bid for the seat.
The Times reports…
Though not currently enrolled in a party, he is known as a Democrat. But if he ran for the Senate, it would very likely be as a Republican or independent so he could avoid a costly primary. As a candidate, Mr. Zuckerman would be following the path of a close friend and fellow media executive, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, who switched his party affiliation from Democratic to Republican to run for office.
With $2 billion of his own money, fundraising won’t be a problem for him. But the question that remains is, does he run as a Democrat, Republican, or Independent?