By GERALD MCKINSTRY, JOSEPH SPECTOR
Gannett Albany Bureau
MAMARONECK _ David Malpass, a former deputy under two Republican presidents, has entered what has become a revolving door of candidates for U.S. Senate and he says he's ready to change the culture of Washington.
Malpass, 54, on Wednesday announced a run against Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, pledging to promote job growth and tax cuts while curbing Washington's historic "spending spree."
His entry comes as other potential GOP candidate, former Gov. George Pataki, said he will not run against Gillibrand. Pataki had not been expected to challenge the Democratic senator, and said he will instead start a political action group to fight the federal health-care law passed last month.
Pataki, polls showed, was the strongest potential Republican challenger to Gillibrand, who was appointed to the position in January 2009 by Gov. David Paterson.
Without Pataki, a number of GOP candidates are seeking the party's nod to run against Gillibrand.
Former Congressman Joe DioGuardi of Ossining, Westchester County, and former Long Island lawmaker Bruce Blakeman are also running, while Rockland County Executive Scott Vanderhoef and Orange County Executive Edward Diana are considering a run.
But Malpass, an economist, said he has the best experience to run on the GOP line. He was joined at his announcement by businessman and former presidential candidate Steve Forbes and John Faso, a former gubernatorial candidate.
Malpass is expected to tour the state in the coming days.
"We have an economy that faces severe challenges. Many of those challenges come from Washington," said Malpass, who was joined by his wife and four children during an announcement at Harbor Island Park in Mamaroneck, Westchester County, and in Manhattan. "The focus right now has to be on stopping the tax increases."
Because Gillibrand was lockstep with Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Harry Reid, both Democrats, it was important that new leadership change the tax-and-spend culture of Washington, he said. Cutting earmarks, entitlement programs and stimulus funds would be a good place to start, he said.
Malpass, once a chief economist at Bear Stearns is now president of Encima Global, an economic research firm based in New York. He is a columnist for Forbes Magazine and contributor to the Wall Street Journal.
He served as deputy assistant secretary of treasury under President Ronald Reagan and was a deputy assistant secretary of state under President George H. W. Bush.
The Gillibrand campaign responded to what it called "partisan attacks from the latest Republican to enter the race" by blaming Malpass for his role in the economy's fallout. "As chief global economist for Bears Stearns, David Malpass not only helped cause the financial collapse, he made millions and left taxpayers holding the bill," Gillibrand spokesman Glen Caplin said. Her office also announced Gillibrand had raised more than $8.75 million since being sworn in more than a year ago, including $1.6 million during the first three months of this year.
Malpass has put $1 million of his own money into the race. DioGuardi pumped $931,000 into his own campaign, a spokesman said Wednesday, after he raised more than $1 million. DioGuardi had $974,233 in his campaign coffers.
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