Pete King vs. Caroline Kennedy Battle Looms - NBC New York

Pete King vs. Caroline Kennedy Battle Looms



    Pete King vs. Caroline Kennedy Battle Looms
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    Republican Congressman Peter King could preset a serious challenge in 2010 to whomever replaces Hillary Clinton in the Senate.

    A 2010 showdown between Rep. Peter King and Hillary Clinton's Senate successor took another step toward reality yesterday as the Long Island Congressman had a favorable meeting with GOP leaders.

    The 63-year-old King (R-Seaford) had a sitdown with National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn and received his blessing for a potential 2010 run, Politico reported today.

    "Senator Cornyn believes Peter King would be a very formidable candidate. He believes the seat could be in play, and is prepared to commit the resources to win the seat,” a senior Republican aide familiar with the meeting told Politico.  

    The battle-tested King has made no secret of his interest in Clinton's seat, a desire that may make it tougher for Gov. David Paterson to nominate a political neophyte such as Caroline Kennedy to the seat.

    King, who is expected to announce his intention shortly after the Senate seat is filled, has already taken shots at Kennedy, telling Politico last month that “there’s nothing in her background that indicates she’s ready to be a fighter in the trenches for New Yorkers.”

    The support of Cornyn is major plus for King because New York state voters have not be kind to the GOP lately and any viable campaign in a statewide election would cost upward of $30 million, Politico reported.

    “It’s clear King is interested in pursuing it,”  a GOP aide told Politico. “It was a very good meeting, Cornyn thinks very highly of him."

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