Rye Town Supervisor Joseph Carvin hopes to unseat New York's junior senator this November.
To do that, he'll have to convince Republicans he's the best candidate out of three currently eyeing Kirsten Gillibrand's seat. Carvin, 57, joins conservative attorney Wendy Long and Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos in the race for the GOP nomination.
Gillibrand was appointed to the senate in 2009 after Hillary Clinton vacated her seat to join President Obama's administration as Secretary of State. Previously, she was a two-term congresswoman serving in New York's 20th congressional district.
While she was viewed as a moderate during her time as a congresswoman, Gillibrand has come under fire for changing her stance on issues such as gun control and immigration. She was also on the receiving end of negative press for her , controversial internet regulation legislation that prompted enormous backlash.
Critics have blasted Gillibrand for her association with New York's senior senator, Chuck Schumer. Gillibrand is often described as a Schumer "protege," and critics point to Schumer as one of the main influences in Gillibrand's increasingly liberal leanings.
Since Gillibrand was appointed to her senate seat, November's election is viewed as a test for her and an opportunity for Republicans.
Carvin hopes to contrast himself with Gillibrand by touting his fiscal conservatism, while remaining moderate on social issues to appeal to New York voters. In statements issued after his announcement on Wednesday, Carvin called Gillibrand a "classic politician" and accused her of lax attitudes toward the country's ailing economy.
In a statement, Carvin said he chose to run because he believes the country's "competitive position risks dramatic deterioration" if things aren't turned around.
"Time is running out," Carvin said. "The time to act is now.
Carvin is most familiar to voters in Rye and Port Chester as the town supervisor. Since taking office in 2007, he's delivered promised tax cuts, although his critics have pointed out the savings to taxpayers are negligible because Rye Town's villages -- Port Chester and Rye Brook -- deliver the majority of high-intensity services, like police and fire protection.
But Carvin has also earned praise in some circles for his willing participation in the Rye Town dissolution study. Carvin has signalled willingness to dissolve the town government, even though it means losing his elected position. Since most services are provided by the villages, the town is largely viewed as a redundant layer of local government.
Carvin intends to sink $1 million of his own money into his campaign, and hopes to raise as much as $10 million in his bid for the Republican nomination, according to the Wall Street Journal. He's also enlisted the help of top political strategists and is looking to bring other big-names on board.
The Republican primary is scheduled for June 26.
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