With Tennessean Harold Ford Jr. out of the picture, there’s plenty of room for other unusual characters to join the race for NY’s Senate. Joseph DioGuardi—dad to “American Idol” judge Kara DioGuardi—will announce his bid for Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s seat on Tuesday, reports the Daily News. Just yesterday sources suggested that Mayor Bloomberg’s longtime lady friend Diana Taylor would vie for the same Republican nomination.

Though he reared a TV celebrity (originally a singer-songwriter and record producer), DioGuardi is not unqualified: from 1985 to 1988 he served as a congressman representing Westchester County. Now he works as an accountant and political writer for conservative publications.

The only confirmed bid so far for the Republican nomination is Bruce Blakeman, formerly a Nassau County legislator, and short-lived mayoral candidate in 2009. It’s rumored that Dan Senor—who worked as a foreign policy adviser for the Bush administration—may also get in the race.