Yesterday, 91% of the New York State Conservative State Committee voted to endorse Wendy Long to challenge Democrat Senator Kirstin Gillibrand. A motion to make her the unanimous choice of the convention was adopted.
In less than two months Wendy Long has demonstrated she presents a very formidable challenge to the very liberal Gillibrand. Mrs. Long a first time candidate is a natural campaigner. She has visited Republicans and Conservatives throughout New York State and she has won support without any help from Republican State headquarters. This notoriously hapless organization seems intent on challenging Long's candidacy. While she won 47% of the vote at the Republican convention the powers that be threw 25% of the vote to Congressman Bob Turner a very late entry. This has created a primary which includes a third candidate George Maragos.
Ideologically, Long is the most conservative. She worked for Senators Gordon Humphrey and Bill Armstrong and she clerked for Justice Clarence Thomas. She is a leading conservative legal authority who has volunteered to recruit strict constructionist judges to the Federal judiciary. She is a stalwart of the Federalist Society.
Turner who entered the race when it became clear that he could not win his congressional seat openly admits Long is an attractive and conservative candidate but insists on running. This has created some angst among conservatives and Republicans who supported him in his upset victory in the Special Election for Anthony Weiner's seat. This became evident when he received a mere 4% of the vote at the Conservative Party convention. Some conservatives have counseled Turner to end his campaign because all he is doing is distracting attention away from Gillibrand. If he persists his image as a conservative will suffer. Turner is a critic of the Ryan budget and he voted to ban the sale of guns across state lines.
But neither the Turner or the Maragos challenges are likely to stop the Long campaign. She is a fresh face and has a natural talent to articulate her conservative principles with a smile and a non-threatening manner.
You can watch her acceptance speech at the Conservative convention here.