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State Republicans tap Blakeman to challenge Gillibrand

Bruce Blakeman

By Mark Scott

New York City, NY – New York Republicans have given Bruce Blakeman the party's official designation to take on Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.

The three-day GOP convention came to a fractious end with the Republican delegates split on their choice of Senate candidate. Bruce Blakeman is the former presiding officer of the Nassau County Legislature. He won the endorsement over David Malpass, who earned enough support at Thursday's convention to run in a September 14th GOP primary. Malpass is a former Bear Stearns chief economist.

A third candidate, former congressman Joe DioGuardi, didn't get enough votes for a primary line. But he is vowing to launch a petition drive to gain ballot access. DioGuardi already has the Conservative Party line in the Senate race.

Earlier Thursday, Chautauqua County Executive Greg Edwards was nominated by acclimation to run for lieutenant-governor. Edwards was the choice of endorsed gubernatorial candidate Rick Lazio. He said he'll bring upstate issues to the forefront. Edwards said he sees family farms and businesses closing every day.