It appears Bruce Blakeman, a Republican candidate for comptroller in 1998, is about ready to gear up for a U.S. Senate run after Rudy Giuliani said today he won’t seek the position.
“I’m getting to the point where I’m ready to make a decision,” Blakeman said. “It’s more likely than not that I am going to run. ”
Blakeman, a former Nassau County legislator, has been working Republican circles, along with Larchmont Mayor Liz Feld, in trying to build support for a Senate campaign. He said he will announce his decision before the end of January.
“I think basically I’m 90 percent of the way there,” he said.
Blakeman knocked his potential opponent Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand for being out of touch with New Yorkers. He has visited upstate to meet with GOP leaders and expects to make a swing through Rochester, Syracuse and the Southern Tier in the next two weeks, he said.
“I think Senator Gillibrand is out of touch with the voters of this state,” Blakeman said. “The voters in New York are angry, frustrated and worried. They are worried about the deficit, they’re worried about a lack of job creation, especially in upstate New York.”
State GOP chairman Ed Cox said he expects many more candidates to surface over the next month or so for a variety of statewide seats.
Cox, who has had a rocky relationship with Giuliani and his camp, expressed optimism that the party will not be set back by Giuliani’s decision not to run for statewide office.
“Rudy would have been a great candidate for either governor or the Senate,” Cox said, adding “His stepping out here opens the way for some great new candidates to really present themselves and be elected to major positions here in New York State.”