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Long to face Gillibrand in race for U.S. Senate seat

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We will be having an active U.S. Senate race this year in New York state. The seat in question is held by Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), who was appointed to that office by former Gov. David Patterson in 2009. She took the place of Hillary Clinton, who became U.S. secretary of state.

The state Republican and state Conservative parties recently held their conventions for the purpose of designating a candidate to run against Gillibrand. At both conventions, there were three candidates seeking endorsements.

They were George Maragos, the Nassau County comptroller; U.S. Rep. Robert Turner (D-Middle Village), whose congressional district was eliminated in the redistricting process; and attorney Wendy Long, who has worked for conservative causes, including forming the Judicial Crisis Network to work on securing Senate confirmation of federal judges who observe judicial restraint.

The Republican convention gave their highest vote totals to Long, who achieved almost half of the votes cast. Both Maragos and Turner received barely more than 25 percent of the votes, which was enough for them to qualify to wage a Republican primary against Long.

At the Conservative Party convention, held a few days after the Republican convention, Long received 91 percent of the delegate votes. The other two candidates, Maragos and Turner, received 9 percent between them. The convention then voted to make Long’s vote unanimous. Therefore, she received the designation of the state Conservative Party with support from 100 percent of the delegates.

It should be mentioned that back in 2007, Long became a member of then-Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s Advisory Committee on the Constitution and the Courts. She served in that capacity during Romney’s first run for the presidency.

At the time, Romney said the following about Long: “Throughout her distinguished legal career, Wendy Long has been an important conservative voice on family and legal issues. With her experience, Long’s counsel will be invaluable in my campaign for our nation’s highest office. I am greatly honored to have her serve on my campaign.”

In a brief interview with Long after the party conventions, she shared some of her views regarding the campaign. As for the support expressed for her at the conventions, she indicated she was pleased and overwhelmed. She also said she was determined to make herself worthy of the trust she had been shown.

She believes that two of the most important issues facing the electorate this year are the size and scope of the federal government and the economic issues of jobs and deficit spending.

When asked if elected what would be the first piece of legislation she would introduce, she answered, “Repeal Obamacare.”

As for what would be the main differences in how she would conduct her duties in office, as compared to Gillibrand, she said she would be more responsible and accountable to the people.

Turning to the federal courts, she has worked to get federal judges appointed who interpret the U.S. Constitution, not inject their own political philosophy when giving their opinions.

Long believes she will be able to raise the necessary funds to be competitive during the campaign.

Queens Conservative Party Chairman Thomas Long, who is not related to Wendy Long, has indicated some of his views on her candidacy. He believes she has considerable experience in politics and government. He also pointed out that she is a grassroots candidate with a long history of political involvement.

If Wendy Long wins the Republican primary and faces Gillibrand in the fall election, it should be an interesting race and bring a lot of media attention.

Regarding congressional races, the recently redrawn 6th Congressional District seems to have taken center stage with a Democratic Party primary in the works to determine who will be the nominee. So far, three candidates have emerged to succeed Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-Bayside), who is retiring.

The three are City Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Middle Village), state Assemblywoman Grace Meng (D-Flushing) and state Assemblyman Rory Lancman (D-Fresh Meadows).

The winner of the Democratic primary will face Councilman Daniel Halloran (R-Whitestone) in the fall election. Up to this point, Halloran has no primary opponents.

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