Just one week after a bizarre Q and A in which he revealed he has only been to Staten Island by helicopter and has only been a full-time New York resident for a year, former Tennessee congressman and likely Senate candidate Harold Ford Jr. sat down with the Daily News — and refused to talk about the issues. In an interview "granted under the condition that the questions be limited to his rationale for running, and not issues," Ford blasted Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand as "weak in many places across the city and the state."
Though his campaign still isn't official, Ford told the paper he's out meeting with voters — who he described as "the most important strategists." But he's also scheduled to meet with Brooklyn Democratic party boss and Assemblyman Vito Lopez (D-Bushwick), an influential powerbroker throughout the state. Though Ford has come under fire from Democratic brass, with Lopez's support the former Tennessee lawmaker might receive enough backing at the party's spring nominating convention that he "could avoid the costly and time-consuming process of circulating nominating petitions to get on the primary ballot," the Post reports. Meanwhile, Rep. Charles Rangel told the Observer he will back Gillibrand.
Ford won't be Gillibrand's only challenger. Long Island politician Bruce Blakeman — a man best known for his talking dog — says he'll run for Senator as a Republican. Blakeman is a former presiding officer of the Nassau County Legislature and Port Authority commissioner who briefly ran for Mayor as a Republican before Mayor Bloomberg announced that he would pursue a third term. "I don't know who I will be running against in November. One is a Congressman from Tennessee. The other is the Senator who votes like she's from Nebraska," said Blakeman, who's wife Nancy Shevell is reportedly dating Paul McCartney.