August 8, 2005

Woman prosecutor to challenge Clinton for NY Senate

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Jeanine Pirro, a high-profile district
attorney in the New York City suburbs, said on Monday she would
seek the Republican nomination to run against Hillary Rodham
Clinton for the U.S. Senate next year.

Pirro, who was included on People Magazine's list of 50
most beautiful people in 1997, has a reputation for combating
domestic violence and prosecuting Internet pedophiles in
Westchester County, and has long been considered a possible
Republican Senate candidate.

In a state where 61 percent of voters disapprove of
President Bush's handling of his job, according to the
Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, Pirro could be
attractive to voters because she is relatively liberal.

"I am running against Hillary Clinton because New York
state deserves a senator who will give her all to the people of
New York for a full term, who will not miss votes to campaign
in (presidential) primaries," Pirro said in a statement.

Clinton, one of New York's two Democratic senators, is
widely seen as a presidential contender in 2008, despite her
frequent assurances that she is focused on the Senate
re-election campaign.

A Quinnipiac poll last week gave Clinton a 63 percent job
approval rating for her Senate work. In a poll of various
potential candidates, the former first lady led Pirro by 63
percent to 29 percent.

The New York Times said in June some Republicans were
concerned Pirro could lose crucial votes from conservatives
because of her support for abortion rights and gay rights, as
well as her husband's conviction on tax evasion charges.

Among the other Republican contenders for the Senate race
is attorney Edward Cox, a son-in-law of the late President
Richard Nixon.

In the People Magazine item when she was included on the
list of most beautiful people, Pirro said her mother had taught
her the importance of looking good in politics.

"A woman needs to be put together more than a man," she
said. "If she isn't, she looks like she's not up for the job.
There's a different standard. Those are the rules, and I have
to live by them."