Kirsten Gillibrand Would Like You to Fear David Malpass

The problem with running all your big-name challengers out of, say, a Senate race, is that it makes it that much harder to raise money against the specter of a big-name challenger.

So, George Pataki didn’t do Kirsten Gillibrand any favors yesterday when he finally, actually, officially ended the speculation that he might run for her Senate seat.

“But, we can’t get too comfortable,” Ms. Gillibrand wrote in a fund-raising email this morning. “Candidates like David Malpass (who has already committed $1 million of his own money into the primary alone) pose a real threat. We need to keep focused.”

(“Focused” was the subject line of the email.)

A Marist poll from late March didn’t show Mr. Malpass–who officially announces his candidacy today–as much of a threat: Ms. Gillibrand beat him 54 percent to 25 percent among registered voters. But the former assistant in Ronald Reagan’s Treasury Department does appear to have deep pockets; he spent several years as the chief economist at Bear Stearns, according to his campaign bio.

UPDATE: On the heels of Mr. Malpass’s official announcement, the Gillibrand camp sent out another email touting her $1.6 million dollar haul in the first quarter of 2010–during which, it should be noted, she was beating back a challenge from former Tennesee congressman Harold Ford Jr. Kirsten Gillibrand Would Like You to Fear David Malpass