Niagara Gazette

Local News

October 7, 2012

Wendy Long continues her uphill fight

Niagara Gazette — ALBANY — Republican U.S. Senate candidate Wendy Long knew it would be an uphill race.

She is a steadfast conservative running for the first time and in a reliably Democratic state. By the usual measures used to assess political races — polls, money, name recognition — Long is far behind incumbent Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.

With Election Day looming Nov. 6, the New York City lawyer spent the past week doing radio interviews and swinging through northern New York for events including a Meet the Republican Candidates Night in Ogdensburg. And, as she has been doing for months, she kept up attacks on the front-runner.

"I am very confident that we are going to start gaining momentum as people begin to focus on the race and they begin to look at her record, which frankly is appalling," Long said in an interview. "She has just not stood up for New York."

Long, 52, has noted she and Gillibrand are both mothers of young children who graduated from Dartmouth College and worked as lawyers. The similarities end there. The two women are on different ends of the political spectrum, and in different positions in the race.

Gillibrand reported 100 times more campaign cash than Long this summer. A Quinnipiac poll in September reported Gillibrand up by 37 points. That same poll found almost three-quarters of the voters didn't know enough about Long to form an opinion — a phenomenon echoed on a recent sunny day when more than a dozen New Yorkers questioned by reporters in Albany and Buffalo said they never heard of Long.

"I have no idea who she is," said Bob Markham as he read a newspaper on a park bench by Albany City Hall. "The only thing I'm focusing on is the presidential election."

Long is a cable TV veteran and is media savvy, but she has not shown she can afford the sort of multimillion-dollar statewide ad campaign candidates rely on in contested races. Her June campaign filing showed $96,411 in campaign cash. A new filing is due Oct. 15.

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