Gillibrand Finally Gets A Primary Challenger In New York Senate Race

For months, Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand has been knocking down potential primary challengers left and right before they even dare to get into the race for her New York Senate seat.

But now Gail Goode, a lawyer and deputy borough chief in New York City’s Tort Unit, is officially in the race, and wants to know: “Who is the real Kirsten Gillibrand and what does she really believe?”In a statement last night announcing her candidacy, Goode said she collected the signatures of over 45,000 registered Democrats, and is entering the race. She immediately went on the attack, taking on Gillibrand for her supposed ties to BP and Wall Street, and for her stance on illegal immigration.

“Gillibrand has the advantage when it comes to money and supporters,” said Goode. “But New Yorkers agree with me on the issues.”

Gillibrand has raised over $10 million in her year and a half in the Senate, while Goode has put up $200,000 of her own cash for the race.

As Evan McMorris-Santoro reported in March, a number of Democrats, including Caroline Kennedy, Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, Rep. Carolyn Maloney, and TPM favorite Harold Ford, Jr. floated runs against Gillibrand, but backed out in the end. She has also has proven a formidable opponent for Republicans, driving away a number of GOP challengers as well.

Goode addressed this in her statement, saying that “New Yorkers have a right to a Democratic primary,” and that “it is clear that all kinds of pressure was brought to bear on several potential candidates to make sure that Governor Paterson’s appointee, Senator Gillibrand, did not have a serious opponent this year.”

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