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New York: GOP Looks to Tie Aubertine to Albany

The National Republican Congressional Committee signaled Monday that it intends to use the monthlong stalemate in the state Senate against state Sen. Darrel Aubertine (D) if he becomes a candidate in the special election to replace Rep. John McHugh (R).

The NRCC issued a lengthy news release outlining some of Aubertine’s activities during the crisis that gripped state government as Democrats and Republicans fought over control of the Senate. The NRCC criticized, among other things, Aubertine’s unsuccessful attempts to broker a power-sharing agreement, his decision to sue the state Assembly to force the Assembly to move bills that had already passed in the Senate, and the fact that he left Albany in early July to meet with constituents back home even though Gov. David Paterson (D) asked Senators to remain in the capital.

“At a time when elected leaders in Albany and Washington are doing more than enough to perpetuate confusion and disorder, the last thing central and northern New Yorkers need is Darrel Aubertine’s misguided ideas in Congress,” NRCC spokesman Paul Lindsay said.

A highly competitive special election is pending in the 23rd district, assuming McHugh is confirmed as secretary of the Army. Aubertine appears to have the right of first refusal for the Democratic nomination, but he must make his intentions known by the end of the week — that’s the deadline local Democratic leaders have set for candidates interested in running in the special election.

Several Republicans have already expressed their desire to run for the upstate seat, though state Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava and investment banker Matthew Doheny appear to be the leading candidates at the moment.

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