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N.Y. GOP Nominates Lazio as Their Candidate for U.S. Senate

May 31, 2000|From Associated Press

BUFFALO, N.Y. — His fresh face marred by a fat lip, Rep. Rick Lazio was nominated by the Republican Party on Tuesday to battle Hillary Rodham Clinton in the nation's most closely watched Senate race.

To the cheers of more than 400 delegates and hundreds of other supporters, Lazio--a little-known Long Island congressman who entered the race after New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani withdrew because of prostate cancer--was declared the unanimous pick of the party's state convention.

With the "Rocky" theme blaring from loudspeakers, Lazio, 42, took the stage to declare, "I am the underdog in this race." He promised to take his "message of hope, opportunity and responsibility" across the state.

"My opponent is better financed and better known. She comes to New York with the support of every left-wing special interest, from Washington insiders to the Hollywood elite," Lazio told the delegates.

"Bring 'em on. Because when it comes to representing the needs, concerns and values of the people of New York, I have one advantage she'll never have: I can be myself. I am a New Yorker."

Lazio arrived in Buffalo as a wounded warrior. He tripped Monday during a Memorial Day parade on Long Island, splitting his lip. He needed eight stitches.

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