Gillibrand Raises Off A Challenger

For the last few months, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has sent out fundraising appeals based on a hypothetical challenger that she claimed Republicans were cooking up to try and win her Senate seat.

Now, Gillibrand has one she can actually point to: Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos.

In an email to supporters this afternoon, under the subject “urgent news,” Gillibrand’s campaign played up Maragos as a self-funder willing to spend up to $5 million dollars.

“This is exactly what the GOP was hoping for,” said the email, which was signed by her finance director Ross Offinger. “Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos is not only willing to spend his own fortune, but he’s sure to stay in lockstep with national Republican ideology.”

Maragos’ personal fortune would seem to make him a more credible challenger than her last opponent, Joe DioGuardi, who struggled to raise funds for last year’s race. But Maragos has his own liabilities–namely the financial struggles of Nassau County since he was elected in 2009.

Maragos previously considered challenging Chuck Schumer, but decided against it.

Here’s the full email:

Friend,

I’ve got urgent news. Kirsten just drew her first challenger for the 2012 Senate race, and he’s already announced he’ll spend up to $5 million of his own money against her.

This is exactly what the GOP was hoping for. Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos is not only willing to spend his own fortune, but he’s sure to stay in lockstep with national Republican ideology. What’s more, the entire Republican Party is eyeing her seat, hoping they’ll be able to add it to their column and use it to take control of the Senate.

We need to mobilize right now for Kirsten and make sure she has the resources she needs to fight the attacks to come. Because he’s self-funded, he can start attacking Kirsten immediately. And that’s exactly what he’s going to do.

Click here to rush your contribution to Kirsten’s campaign today and help her build her resources so she can take on this first challenger.

We all know what a terrific campaigner Kirsten is, but that doesn’t mean she won’t need our help. Particularly now. Going head to head with an opponent who can write his own checks is never easy.

We can’t rest for a minute. The stakes are too high. Please, give today and let’s make sure Kirsten’s ready for whatever comes her way.

Thanks for your help,

Ross Offinger

Gillibrand Raises Off A Challenger