A number of top-tier candidates flirted with running against Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand earlier this year, only to drop out, even as the junior senator continued to languish in the polls.
Now Gillibrand’s numbers are rising, and she has a nearly 30-point lead over each of the three Republicans vying to replace her–former Congressman (and certified public account) Joe DioGuardi, former Bush administration David Malpass, and Bruce Blakeman, a former Nassau County legislator.
Which makes it somewhat odd then that her G.O.P. challengers are playing the electability card. But in fact the Malpass campaign is out with a release today mocking DioGuardi’s won-loss record in electoral politics.
“Mr. DioGuardi was soundly rejected at the polls by voters, but he never got the message,” says Malpass spokesman Jessica Proud. “After becoming a Washington lobbyist, he kept running and running and running in Westchester County, but he was rejected by the voters every time. If the voters who knew him best repeatedly rejected him, what makes Mr. DioGuardi think he can win a statewide race now? He needs to explain that to Republican Primary voters.”
The release points out that DioGuardi, who was first elected in 1984 to Congress but was turned out after two terms “unsuccessfully ran against Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D) in 1988 and 1992, followed by unsuccessful primaries against Congresswoman Sue Kelly (R) in 1994, 1996, 1998, and 2000.”
For what it is worth, for now DioGuardi leads in the polls among the three, although far behind undecided.
Asked for a response, DioGuardi campaign spokesman Tom Kise said:
“David Malpass should find something better to do with his Bear Stearns millions than slinging schoolyard attacks at Joe DioGuardi. While Mr. Malpass was chief economist for Bear Stearns and leading our economy off a cliff, Joe was busy fighting to end genocide in the Balkans and holding government accountable to the people. Mr. Malpass needs to let the voters know why, if he is such a renowned economist, he failed to see the economic crisis coming before it was too late. Was it because he was more concerned with his bottom line than the people’s?”