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Three Vie for Ballot Line in Republican U.S. Senate Primary

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Primary Preview 2012Three Republicans believe they have what it takes to be a U.S. Senator and have the ability to defeat Democratic incumbent Kirsten Gillibrand in November. Next Tuesday, June 26 registered Republicans throughout the will go to the polls to determine who will be the GOP candidate.

Congressman Robert “Bob” Turner, Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos and attorney Wendy Long are each seeking the party’s nomination.

Congressman Robert "Bob" Turner
Congressman Robert "Bob" Turner

Robert Turner

Turner, 71, was elected in September 2011 to represent New York’s 9th Congressional District in a special election following the resignation of Rep. Anthony Weiner. In the House, he is a member of the foreign affairs, veterans affairs and homeland security committees.

Turner decided against re-election to the House after redistricting split the existing district and changed the demographics.

Describing himself as a conservative, Turner last year cited illegal immigration as a major cause of U.S. unemployment. He is in favor of hydrofracking and thinks states should be allowed to opt out of No Child Left Behind.

Turner is a supporter of the Ryan Plan and did not sign Grover Norquist’s anti-tax pledge. Lawmakers who sign it agree to oppose all tax increases and any reduction in credits or loopholes that are not paired with equal reduction in tax rates.

“I don’t think anyone wants to raise taxes, but we need a comprehensive plan,” Turner said at a June 17 debate.

Prior to becoming an elected official, Turner was a media executive involved in the development of numerous television shows including “Baywatch,” “Family Feud,” “The Phil Donahue Show,” “The Sally Jesse Raphael Show” and “The Jerry Springer Show. Turner lives in Rockaway Point with his wife of 48 years, Peggy. The couple has five adult children and 13 grandchildren.

Nassau Comptroller George Maragos
Nassau Comptroller George Maragos

George Maragos

Maragos, 63, was elected Nassau County comptroller in 2009. Previously, he had over 35 years of senior management experience in banking, consulting and information systems.

Born in Greece, Maragos became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1985. Maragos has a bachelor’s degree from McGill University and a master’s degree in business administration from Pace University. He has worked at Booz Allen, Chase Manhattan Bank and Citibank.

In 1989, Maragos founded SDS Financial Technologies and served as president for 20 years. He wants to fix the economy and create jobs without increasing taxes.

“If we are to grow our economy and create jobs for Americans and New Yorkers we must make our economy competitive by reducing taxes, reducing regulations and stopping the steady flow of outsourcing jobs,” Maragos said in a statement.

The U.S. Trade policy should also be revised “to protect millions of American jobs while promoting free but fair trade,” he said.

Maragos has signed Grover Norquist’s anti-tax pledge. He lives in Nassau County with his wife of 37 years, Angela. They have two sons and two grandchildren.

Senatorial candidate Wendy Long
Senatorial candidate Wendy Long

Wendy Long

Long, 51, is an attorney who has worked for two U.S. Senators and as a law clerk under U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

The Dartmouth College graduate practiced law with Kirkland & Ellis, LLP, becoming a litigation partner in Manhattan. Long left private practice to build the Judicial Confirmation Network (now the Judicial Crisis Network). She has lived in Manhattan for 14 years with her husband, Arthur, and their two children.

She is a member of Gov. Mitt Romney’s Justice Advisory Committee, teaches Roman Catholic catechism in New York City for the Narnia program, and is a member of the New York City Parks Mounted Auxiliary Unit.

During the state Republican Convention in March, Long received 47 percent of the party’s votes, easily besting Turner and Maragos. She has also secured the Conservative Party line of the November ballot and has signed Grover Norquist’s anti-tax pledge.

“This November, I plan to offer New Yorkers a clear choice between a belief in smaller government, lower taxes and a less intrusive government as a real economic stimulus for the private sector, versus the failed Obama-Gillibrand special-interest motivated, nanny state-government-does-all approach,” she said.

She is also against President Obama’s recent decision to ease immigration laws for children.

“What the president did is clearly unconstitutional,” she said.

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