Republican nominee Wendy Long is hoping to unseat longtime incumbent Charles Schumer, running as an anti-establishment candidate in the mold of Donald Trump, but she’s fighting an uphill battle just to introduce herself to voters. Bobby Cuza filed the following report.
For months, Wendy Long has been trying to introduce herself to New Yorkers. But with little media exposure and paltry fundraising numbers, especially compared to her opponent, fundraising powerhouse Charles Schumer, Long has struggled. A Siena College poll Wednesday put her 39 points behind Schumer, with 76 percent of voters saying they either don’t know or have no opinion of her.
Born and raised in rural New Hampshire, Long went on to law school and a clerkship with Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas before settling into a career in Manhattan as an attorney and conservative activist. She first ran for office in 2012, losing in a landslide to Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. This time around, she says she owes her candidacy to Donald Trump.
“It was he who actually inspired me to jump into this U.S. Senate race against Chuck Schumer,” Long said last month.
A devout Catholic and staunch conservative on issues from abortion to gun rights, Long’s campaign closely mirrors Trump’s. She’s framed herself as an outsider, adopting Trump’s positions on immigration and national security and his populist tone on trade. And she’s remained loyal to Trump through recent controversies, even headlining a Women for Trump rally last week.
“I very much follow Donald Trump in some of his new ideas and policies that don’t really squarely fit into the Republican or the Conservative mold. I think what we need is some fresh ideas,” she said.
With less than three weeks to go to Election Day, she’ll get perhaps her best chance to gain traction when NY1 hosts the first and only debate of the race on Sunday night, October 30.