Berntsen To Announce Against Schumer, Self-Funding Maragos Delays
Retired CIA officer and US Air Force veteran Gary Berntsen will officially announce his candidacy for the US Senate at Federal Plaza’s Foley Square in Manhattan this Sunday, widening the field of GOP challengers against the previously unchallenged Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer to two.
Berntsen had been considering a run for Congress in NY-1 in a crowded GOP field that also included state GOP Chairman Ed Cox’s son, Christopher, as well as businessman Randy Altschuler and George Demos; but recently (and rather inexplicably) switched tracks and decided to join the fray against Schumer.
In a press release, Berntsen said he main focus will be “job creation and promotion of a business-friendly
environment” as well as security and counter-terrorism.
“”It is time to take back this vital seat from the Democratic leadership and return it to the hardworking people of New York State,” Berntsen said.
“For too long, this career politician has used the United States Senate to serve the agenda of his party’s bosses to the detriment of his constituents.”
“The Senator is one of the architects of the failed policies that are being rammed down New Yorker’s throats by the Washington establishment. Senator Schumer must now be held accountable for those failures. It is time for him to go.”
According to his FEC filing, Berntsen has raised $56,506 to date for his congressional campaign, spent $26,896 and had $29,610 on hand. He also has $10,000 worth of debt. Schumer, by contrast, has a whopping $21,837,499 on hand.
GOP consultant Jay Townsend has already announced his campaign against Schumer.
Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos, who expressed interest in the race back in April and was expected to announce his candidacy this week, has now pushed his announcement back to early next week – perhaps Tuesday or Wednesday, he told me this morning.
Maragos said he was thinking of maybe announcing tomorrow, but was told “Friday is a bad media day to put something out in the press.”
(Saturday’s editions are the least-read. Sunday – as Schumer will tell you – is a great day to hold news conferences, because everyone is scrambling for something to put in Monday’s paper. Apparently Berntsen is taking his cues from the senior senator on this one).
Maragos told me he’s not at all concerned about a potential primary fight. He is speculated to be willing to spend as much as $5 million of his own money on a statewide run. Maragos declined to cite a specific dollar amount when I put that question to him this morning, but did say:
“I have my own resources to get the campaign off the ground. I’m willing to spend quite a bit of money. I’m not willing to commit to a number. I have resources as well, but not $20 million.”
|Print article||This entry was posted by Liz Benjamin on May 20, 2010 at 11:27 am, and is filed under Chuck Schumer, Republicans. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|