GOP Dark Horse Reported Running for Gillenbrand's NY Senate Seat

Dan Senor is considering a run against Kirsten Gillenbrand for New York's Senate seat, according to the New York Post's Knickerbocker column.

Senor is the  co-author, along with Saul Singer, of the recent book Start-up Nation:The Story of Israel's Economic Miracle, and a former top official for the Bush administration in Iraq.  Given that Gillenbrand has never run statewide before (she was appointed by Governor David Patterson  to fill out Hillary Clinton's term), and the heavily Jewish percentage of the vote in New York State (between 10 and 15%),  Senor could be a game changing candidate for the Republicans. 

Gillenbrand will likely face a primary challenge from former Tennessee Congressman Harold Ford. Patterson is likely to face a challenge from New York's Attorney General Andrew Cuomo for the Democratic nomination for Governor.   

Gillenbrand and Cuomo are far ahead in early polls for the Democratic primary races. If both African American candidates -- Ford and Patterson -- are defeated in Democratic primaries, that would likely result in a significant reduction in the African American turnout in November, another factor that could favor Republicans in the Senate fight.

Former Governor George Pataki is the only Republican who has led Gillenbrand in polling so far, but has seemed uninterested in making the race. In what is shaping up as a possible wave year for the Republicans, New York's Senate seat is a real target, with an appointed Democrat who has never run statewide before. Senor may fit the bill as the kind of newcomer, who, given New York's ethnic mix, might have a real shot.