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« Primary Unkind To Two Alabama Congressmen | Blog Home Page | Palin Endorses Murkowski's GOP Challenger »

NY GOP Chooses Berntsen Against Schumer

As New York Sen. Charles Schumer sets his sights on the title of Senate majority leader (if Harry Reid loses re-election), the state Republican Party yesterday made former CIA officer Gary Berntsen its designee to challenge Schumer in November.

With fellow Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand also up for election this year -- a special election to fill the remaining two years of Hillary Clinton's Senate term -- the Schumer race is the less attractive one for Republicans, as he has entrenched himself in his two terms in office.

Berntsen could find it difficult gaining traction in the race, as Schumer has worked hard to make himself New York's leading advocate in Washington. Even Berntsen's own name could give him trouble -- the state party misspelled it five times (the same number it was spelled correctly) in its press release announcing the decision, and his name was reportedly mispronounced several times during the state party convention voting on Tuesday.

"Gary Bernsten [sic] is certainly a game changer," said New York GOP Chairman Ed Cox. "Given his incredible professional experience on the world stage and his foreign policy acumen, Bernsten [sic] is sure to become a leader in that arena in the Senate."

Berntsen was quoted in the same press release as saying: "I will pursue Sen. Schumer in every town, on every street and every village. I will not allow him to sit in Washington, D.C. and send out campaign notices."

He'll first need to get past Conservative Party nominee Jay Townsend in the Sept. 14 Republican primary.