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Report: Former Bush Adviser Senor 'Seriously Considering' Senate Run

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TPMmuckraker and the New York Post first reported last month that Senor was mulling a challenge to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY). Gillibrand was appointed last year by Governor David Paterson, and her strength in a statewide race is untested.

A Gillibrand spokesman told Politico this morning: "There will be plenty of time to talk in-depth about Senor's role as George Bush's chief spin doctor in Iraq if he ever makes it past a competitive Republican primary."

According to Long, Senor said he has also been "brainstorming" with John McLaughlin, a prominent Republican consultant.

Senor, who is married to CNN host Campbell Brown, currently works for a private equity firm in Manhattan. He recently co-wrote a book on Israel's economy. He's on the board of the Foreign Policy Initiative, a neo-conservative project founded by Bill Kristol, and he recently appeared on a conference call for reporters organized by the RNC, about President Obama's Afghanistan policy. Senor declined to be interviewed by the Times.

Neither of the two other men who have announced that they will seek the GOP nomination is considered a formidable candidate. They are Bruce Blakeman, who last year dropped out of the New York mayoral race, and David Malpass, a former Bear Stearns economist who worked in the Reagan administration.

Cornyn told reporters Monday that the party has a "hole in our dance card," in New York. "There's a number of names that have been bubbling up," he said. "I think we will have a significant candidate, a substantial candidate to run against Kristen Gillibrand in New York."

The Times reports:

Mr. Cox, the Republican state chairman, attended a speech that Mr. Senor gave at the Council on Foreign Relations several months ago, and afterward encouraged Mr. Senor to enter the Republican primary, said a person familiar with the conversation. Mr. Senor expressed interest, and since then, the two have spoken frequently by telephone about the race.

Last month, Cox told TPMmuckraker on background that he had not spoken to Senor and had no information about his possible Senate bid. Cox did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the discrepancy.

Additional reporting by Christina Bellantoni