The 2010-midterm elections were a historic victory for the Republicans around the country, but New York State was one of the few bright spots for the Democrats. As expected, Andrew Cuomo won a landslide victory in his quest to succeed his father in the governor’s chair, and Chuck Schumer faced only token opposition in his re-election bid. However, the really painful loss for the GOP involved the way they threw away a golden opportunity to knock off Kirsten Gillibrand as the woman appointed by former Governor David Patterson to succeed Hillary Clinton easily won the right to serve out the rest of the secretary of state’s term. Gillibrand was fortunate in that her opponent, Joseph DioGuardi, was the least electable of a not terribly impressive GOP field. Gillibrand was vulnerable due to the way she had transformed herself from a moderate in the House of Representatives to Senate liberal, but she barely broke a sweat as she beat DioGuardi by a 63-35 percent margin.
The question for the all but moribund New York GOP heading into the 2012 election in which Gillibrand is running for a full six-year term was which of the nonentities seeking the right to oppose the senator would get the nod. But the announcement today that Rep. Bob Turner will run should inject some life if not actual hope into the state Republican Party.