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Wednesday, December 21, 2005 

Is GOP Leaving NY Senate Seat All To Hillary?

(AP) ALBANY, N.Y. - Jeanine Pirro has decided to halt her struggling campaign for the Republican nomination to challenge Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton in two Republicans close to the situation said Wednesday. She will run instead for state attorney general, the sources said.

Pirro has been under pressure from top state GOP leaders to make the switch. It would leave Republicans with two active candidates for the Senate nomination, former Yonkers Mayor John Spencer, who is not well- known statewide, and tax attorney William Brenner, even less well- known.

Has Hillary reached Juggernaut status in New York? Is the GOP is trying to make sure they don’t waste a good candidate on an obvious loss to Mrs. Clinton?

Independent polls have shown the former first lady, a potential 2008 presidential contender, with huge leads over Pirro and the other potential GOP challengers. And, as of the end of September, Clinton had about $14 million in her campaign coffers.

Or, is this a case, once again, where Republicans will not support someone not in lock-step with the party line?

Pirro, a supporter of abortion and gay rights, also had major problems in her attempts to court support from leaders of the state Conservative Party. No Republican running statewide in New York has won without Conservative Party support since 1974.

Maybe a bit of both?