October 14, 2005

Nixon’s son-in-law Cox leaves NY Senate race

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A son-in-law of the late President
Richard Nixon dropped out of the U.S. Senate race in New York
on Friday, leaving a local prosecutor as the likely Republican
challenger to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton next year.

Edward Cox announced he was quitting hours after New York
Republican Gov. George Pataki endorsed his rival, suburban
Westchester County District Attorney Jeanine Pirro, for the
Republican nomination.

"The governor is the leader of the Republican Party. Out of
respect for his position and his decision, I have decided to
stop my campaign for the United States Senate," Cox said in a

His withdrawal leaves Pirro, who has cultivated a national
profile with her work as a prosecutor and her frequent
appearances on cable television, as the Republican

Cox, a Manhattan attorney, married Nixon's eldest daughter,
Tricia, at the White House in 1971. Nixon resigned in 1974 over
the Watergate break-in scandal.

Clinton, the Democratic former first lady, is up for
re-election to the U.S. Senate in November 2006. Polls show she
is heavily favored to win.

Filings show Clinton has far outpaced Pirro in raising
campaign funds. The Clinton campaign reported raising almost
$5.3 million in the three-month period that ended September 30.
The Pirro campaign said she raised $438,555 during the same
time period.

In a statement, Pirro said: "Ed Cox is a man of integrity
who has shown great leadership in his run for the United States
Senate. Ed Cox will continue to be a rising star in the
Republican Party."

When Pirro declared her candidacy in August, she accused
Clinton of using New York to further a presidential ambition.

"If Hillary wants to be president, she should be honest
with herself and her constituents -- and say so," she said at
the time.

Widely thought to be interested in the White House, Clinton
has not indicated whether she will seek the Democratic Party's
presidential nomination and says she is concentrating on the
Senate race.