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NEW YORK | New York Republicans are backing a former Long Island lawmaker to take on Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a Democrat, but an economist has won enough support from party leaders to force a primary.

Bruce Blakeman, a former member of the Nassau County Legislature, will face a challenge from David Malpass, a former Bear Stearns chief economist. A third candidate, former Congressman Joe DioGuardi, didn’t get enough votes at the state Republican convention Thursday to get onto the Sept. 14 primary ballot.

Mrs. Gillibrand was appointed last year to replace Hillary Rodham Clinton, who was named U.S. secretary of state.

SENATE

Pentagon asked for Kagan files

The top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee wants answers from the Pentagon about its recruitment efforts at Harvard University while Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan was dean of the law school.

The request is an indication that Republicans are continuing to hammer away at President Obama’s nominee for her decision to bar recruiters in protest of the military’s prohibition against openly gay soldiers.

Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama is asking the Defense Department to turn over eight years’ worth of records, including communications with Harvard about access to its campus and about a law denying federal money to institutions that wouldn’t allow military recruiters.

In a letter to the Pentagon’s top attorney, Mr. Sessions asks to see the papers by June 11.

From wire dispatches and staff reports