Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Staudenraus to challenge Schumer for senate seat

A challenger to U.S. Senator Charles Schumer has finally emerged.

Jim Staudenraus of Shelter Island formally announced his candidacy Wednesday.

The public advocate, author and businessman has been traveling throughout the state for more than a month drumming up support for his fledgling candidacy.

Staudenraus is angling for the Republican line in advance of this fall’s election.

“I’ve always fought hard for what I believe in,” he said in a prepared statement. “I’ve never been afraid to stand up to those in power when they’re wrong.”

He says New York and the nation face critical challenges.

“I grew up in New York, attended school here, got married here, and raised my children here,” he said. “New York deserves a full-time Senator who will fight to protect our financial security and our physical security.”

Taking a page from Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown – who was elected to fill Ted Kennedy’s seat last fall – Staudenraus stated that Schumer’s seat doesn’t belong to any one political party or candidate.

“It belongs to the people of New York,” he said. “We face a double-dip recession as millions of Americans have lost their jobs. Our retirement plans have lost value, savings have been wiped out. People continue to lose their jobs and their homes, and businesses are continuing to close.”

Schumer’s seat is seen as fairly safe, while fellow Senator Kirsten Gillibrand faces fairly low job approval ratings.

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