August 8, 2005

Prosecutor Pirro to challenge Clinton for NY Senate

By Claudia Parsons

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Jeanine Pirro, a high-profile district
attorney from 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 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 a moderate and a compromiser," Pirro said in a
statement, describing herself as Republican red on fiscal
policy, taxes, foreign policy and fighting terrorism, but with
"broad blue stripes" on social issues.

Pirro, 54, has served three times as District Attorney in
Westchester County. Married with two children, she was listed
by People Magazine in 1997 as one of the 50 most beautiful
people in the world.

"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. 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 that 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

Another Republican contender for the Senate is attorney
Edward Cox, a son-in-law of late President Richard Nixon.

In 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."