- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 19, 2010

NEW YORK

Poll: Paterson gains favor

ALBANY, N.Y. | A Siena College poll finds that Gov. David Paterson continues to win back favor among voters, but Democratic Sen. Kristen Gillibrand is losing ground for the first time in a potential matchup with former Gov. George Pataki.

Most voters still prefer Democratic Attorney General Andrew Cuomo over Mr. Paterson, also a Democrat, in this year’s campaign. But Mr. Paterson’s favorability rating is 11 points higher than in October, although still at just 38 percent.

As for Mrs. Gillibrand, more voters view her unfavorably than favorably for the first time in the Siena poll.

Mr. Pataki, a Republican who hasn’t announced a run, takes the lead for the first time.

GUN RALLY

Supporters rally at Capitol

RICHMOND | Hundreds of Virginians rallied in support of bills that would allow concealed handguns to be carried in more places and make it easier to get both guns and the permits.

Guns rights advocates who rallied Monday at the Capitol decried Senate Democrats, who planned to put at least one more anti-gun Democrat on a key committee that hears all gun bills. Gun supporters had hoped to get more bills enacted this year because Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell, who took office on Saturday, supports gun rights.

Former Gov. Tim Kaine, a Democrat, often vetoed pro-gun bills.

Bills have been filed to repeal the law that limits gun purchases to one a month, to allow concealed guns on school property, in courthouses and in restaurants, and to make it easier to get a concealed carry permit.

TEXAS

Call renewed for term limits

DALLAS | Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison is again calling for term limits for the governor’s office.

The Republican who’s running against Rick Perry - the longest-serving governor in Texas history - discussed term limits in the first of four campaign stops Monday in Dallas.

Mrs. Hutchison has for months been saying Mr. Perry’s been in power too long and that the state needs term limits for the office, and said she’d seek a constitutional amendment to limit the top state spot to two terms.

Mr. Perry will seek an unprecedented third term in a re-election bid that starts with the GOP primary election March 2. His spokesman, Mark Miner, says Mr. Hutchison has “no credibility on the issue” because she’s been in Washington for 17 years after saying she’d serve two terms.

NEW MEXICO

Domenici running for governor

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. | A well-known name in New Mexico politics has joined the race for governor.

Pete Domenici Jr., a lawyer and the son of longtime Sen. Pete Domenici, announced his candidacy Sunday, adding his name to an already crowded GOP field.

The younger Mr. Domenici, who was flanked by his parents, called himself an ordinary citizen who has developed his own roots “in common sense conservatism.”

Four candidates announced for the nomination earlier, including former state GOP chairman Allen Weh, Dona Ana County District Attorney Susana Martinez, state Rep. Janice Arnold-Jones and businessman Doug Turner

Lt. Gov. Diane Denish is seeking the Democratic gubernatorial nomination. Incumbent Democratic Gov. Bill Richardson cannot run again because of term limits.

The elder Mr. Domenici retired last year after 36 years in the Senate.

WISCONSIN

Wall launches Senate campaign

MADISON, Wis. | Real estate developer Terrence Wall, a political newcomer who is seeking the Republican nomination to challenge Russ Feingold, on Monday called the three-term U.S. senator a career politician who has lost touch with ordinary voters.

Mr. Wall was launching his campaign with a series of stops across the state on Tuesday and Wednesday. He said he will focus on creating jobs and turning around the economy, opposing the health care plan that Mr. Feingold supports in Congress, and reducing taxes and cutting government spending.

“It’s time to throw the incumbents out and start over,” Mr. Wall said Monday in a telephone interview. “We need to hold Russ Feingold accountable. He’s had 18 years. He should be a leader in the Senate by now. He’s chosen not to lead.”

Mr. Feingold, a Democrat, has been in the Senate since 1992 after a 10-year stint in the state Legislature.

Mr. Feingold dodged Mr. Wall’s comments in a statement released by his campaign. In it, Mr. Feingold encouraged those running against him to visit all of Wisconsin’s 72 counties to talk with voters directly as he has done.

HAITI

Frist arrives for medical mission

NASHVILLE, Tenn. | Former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist is on a medical mission to earthquake-ravaged Haiti.

His office said in a news release that he arrived Monday at Port-au-Prince and will be stationed first at Baptist Mission Hospital. He is working with the international relief agency Samaritan’s Purse.

Mr. Frist, of Nashville, was a heart-lung surgeon before being elected to the Senate.

He said Centennial Medical Center of Nashville donated both IV fluids and antibiotics among other critically needed medical supplies.

Mr. Frist also said the global health organization he sponsors, Hope Through Healing Hands, has launched a Haiti Disaster Relief Fund and raised more than $12,000.

From wire service dispatches and staff reports.

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