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New York businessman seeks to unseat Gillibrand

Josh Eisen U.S. Senate Campaign

Republican Josh Eisen, a New York businessman, is challenging incumbent Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand for United States Senate next year.

A Republican candidate has not won a statewide election in New York since 2002. But Eisen's optimistic, saying he believes the overall trajectory of the state has moved toward the Republican party.

"The way the Republican Party did in the congressional races," said Eisen, "the way the Republican Party performed in the statewide gubernatorial race, even though it wasn't a victory, one cannot argue that it was a huge step in the right direction."

Eisen called himself a "different kind of Republican" saying he's not afraid to talk about homelessness and poverty. He said he believes a lot of pain and challenges are the result of big government policies.

"Just think about public housing," Eisen said. "It's a total disaster anywhere you go. Public housing is an essential failure, yet it was there to help people. So clearly that didn't work out and government is just overall proven to be incapable."

Eisen previously ran for U.S. House in 2020, suspending his campaign after City and State New York reported he was sanctioned by judges on two separate occasions for harassing his legal opponents and their families and received a court fine of $20,000.

Eisen said he had litigation with another businessman after they were "ripped off by lawyers." He called it a story of reconciliation saying he and that partner stayed in business together.

"And to focus on the details of what lawyers who lie talk about I think is irrelevant," Eisen said. "You have to look at the facts and the facts about me are pretty, pretty impeccable. And they tell a very, very fine story of a person who acts selflessly."

Eisen said he has put almost $500,000 of his own money into his campaign so far with plans to put in another $500,000.

Gillibrand's campaign responded to Eisen's announcement.

"MAGA-Republican Josh Eisen's long and documented history of stalking, harassment, misogyny and racism are utterly disqualifying for the office he seeks," Gillibrand spokesman Evan Lukaske said. "Every Republican member of Congress in New York State should and will have to answer for Eisen's candidacy."

Ava Pukatch joined the WRVO news team in September 2022. She previously reported for WCHL in Chapel Hill, NC and earned a degree in Journalism and Media from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. At UNC, Ava was a Stembler Scholar and a reporter and producer for the award-winning UNC Hussman broadcast Carolina Connection. In her free time, Ava enjoys theatre, coffee and cheering on Tar Heel sports. Find her on Twitter @apukatch.