After easily beating two elected officials in the Republican U.S. Senate primary Tuesday night, Manhattan attorney Wendy Long now has a much tougher task as she gets ready to take on Democratic incumbent Kirsten Gillibrand in November. NY1's Zack Fink filed the following report.
Wendy Long had the early backing of the state's Conservative party, which helped energize just enough of the party's base in a primary with very low turnout.
Almost immediately after declaring victory, Long set her sights on her general election opponent.
"Senator Gillibrand keeps saying that we need to see more women in politics. And tonight we are here to grant her wish and I am ready to take her on," Long told supporters.
Long defeated New York City Congressman Bob Turner and Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos. Turner, who won a special election in heavily Democratic Brooklyn and Queens last year was hoping for a second big turnout from those same voters in his district. And while he won the city's Republican vote by a strong margin, turnout was just too low in the city and suburbs to make a difference for him.
Long won upstate districts by a 2-to-1 margin, where the turnout was much higher.
"This was a great victory for Wendy Long who is a true citizen candidate. This is her first race, her first victory. She is a candidate who is a brilliant lawyer, served on the highest court in this nation," said State GOP Chairman Ed Cox.
Long once clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. She says Republicans are right on the issues that are important to New Yorkers and that is going to be the difference for her in November.
"The stagnant economy, it's largely a product of high taxes, high regulation, spending and debt. Those are the issues I hear around the state including from women," Long said.
Shortly after her victory, Democrats went on the attack sending out an email blast that highlighted what they say are Long's extreme conservative views.
Long will likely face an uphill race against Kirsten gillibrand, a well financed incumbent. All three Republican candidates struggled with statewide name recognition during the primary, and Long could certainly face that same hurdle heading into the general election.