Tedisco the GOP nominee for Gillibrand seat

January 27, 2009

New York Assembly Minority Leader James Tedisco has been tapped as the Republican nominee for Kirsten Gillibrand’s vacant 20th District House seat, according to several New York GOP sources.

The decision was made this afternoon in Albany, where the 10 Republican county chairmen within the district met to select a nominee. Tedisco had enough support that he won with little opposition.

Tedisco said the early nomination gives him (and Republicans) a valuable head start against the eventual Democratic nominee.  Democrats still have a long ways to go in choosing a nominee.

“We learned a lesson from Governor Paterson: Do not delay an appointment. The party leaders  understood that the white smoke had to go up for one of us today,” Tedisco said.

Tedisco said he plans on embarking on a 10-county listening tour throughout the district later this week.

An outspoken conservative, Tedisco had a combative relationship with former Gov. Eliot Spitzer, and generated headlines in 2007 when he challenged Spitzer’s plan to give drivers’ licenses to illegal immigrants.

Tedisco hails from Saratoga County, the most populous county in the district, which Republican operatives viewed as a plus for the special election.

“Jim Tedisco is a strong candidate who has a record of standing up and fighting for the interests and values of his constituents,” said NRCC spokesman Ken Spain. “He is the consensus candidate of local Republicans in upstate New York and we are confident he will attract the support of mainstream middle class voters as he has in the past.”…

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