By Karen DeWitt, New York State Public Radio Capital Bureau Chief
George Maragos, the front running Republican to challenge US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand admits he faces an “uphill battle," but the former banker and current Nassau County Comptroller says he’ll spend up to $5 million dollars of his own money to compete.
Maragos has secured 25 percent of the party's delegates support to guarantee a spot on the Republican primary ballot for the Senate seat. He says he expects more endorsements from county leaders in the coming days before the GOP convention March 16. Maragos is anti-abortion and personally against same-sex marriage, though he says he respects New York’s marriage law. But he says he’d rather focus on improving the economy, and that too much attention has been paid to social issues in the GOP Presidential campaign lately.
“The crises that we’re facing in our country are not the social issues, they’re the economic issues,” said Maragos. “We’re losing sight of that.”
Maragos says he needs $15 million dollars to run a credible campaign, and is willing to spend several million of his own fortune to do it. He’s facing potential primary challenges from Rye Town Supervisor Joe Carvin and New York City Attorney Wendy Long.