- - Wednesday, January 18, 2012

NEW YORK

ABC interviewed ex-wife of Gingrich

NEW YORK — ABC News interviewed Republican presidential contender Newt Gingrich’s second wife  with whom he’s said he has no relationship  and is likely to air the segment Thursday on “Nightline,” an ABC News executive told the Associated Press.

That’s two days before the South Carolina primary, where the former House speaker is trying to topple GOP front-runner Mitt Romney by casting himself as the more conservative option.

The ABC News executive did not indicate what former wife Marianne Gingrich said in the interview. The executive spoke on the condition of anonymity because the plans for airing the interview were tentative.

The interview, should it air before Saturday’s primary, would shine a spotlight on a part of Mr. Gingrich’s past that could turn off Republican voters in a state filled with religious and cultural conservatives who may cringe at Mr. Gingrich’s two divorces and acknowledged infidelity.

NEW YORK

Lawmaker to retire after 10 House terms

KINGSTON — A 10-term Democratic congressman from upstate New York is planning to announce that he won’t see re-election.

Rep. Maurice D. Hinchey’s office said the Hudson Valley lawmaker will make an official retirement announcement Thursday in Kingston.

Mr. Hinchey is 73 and recently completed treatment for colon cancer. He has been declared cancer-free by his doctors.

His 22nd Congressional District includes a large swath of upstate New York.

WHITE HOUSE

Obama campaign launches first TV ad

President Obama has released the first television ad of his re-election campaign. It defends his energy record against criticism from a Republican-leaning outside group in a sign that the presidential race is entering a new phase even though Republicans have yet to choose a challenger.

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