The Campaign Spot

Sen. Gillibrand to Get a Strong GOP Challenger Next Year?

Wouldn’t this be a delicious match-up? “Republican Harry Wilson, the wealthy investor and former member of President Obama’s Auto Industry Task Force, is being talked up by GOP insiders as a possible candidate against US Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand in 2012, The Post has learned. He ran a strong but unsuccessful race for state comptroller last year against Thomas DiNapoli. Wilson, a native of upstate Johnstown who holds an MBA from Harvard, has been making the rounds of cable business shows lately, keeping his name before the public. GOP insiders said he has not yet decided to enter the Senate race.”

He and Jon Huntsman could form “Disillusioned Obama Appointees United.”

Gillibrand won in 2010 with nearly 63 percent of the vote against former GOP congressman Joseph DioGuardi. Wilson took 47.2 percent to DiNapoli’s 49.7 percent, which appears to be the strongest performance of any Republican running statewide that year.

With Obama at the top of the ticket, an incumbent Democrat Sen. could ordinarily feel pretty confident. But the 2012 Senate battlefield just gets broader and broader, and thus the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is likely to be forced to triage races fairly quickly — and New York will be an extremely expensive state to contest. And Harry Wilson’s personal wealth is said to be… considerable., with several consecutive years of seven-figure income.

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