Republican Harry Wilson perked my ears this morning with this CNBC appearance, in which he's asked about speculation that he'll take on Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.
"There's been some talk of that," Mr. Wilson said with a laugh, and without a denial.
The host asked whether Mr. Wilson would be able to raise money for Watertown Republican Matt Doheny, who will run for Congress, while he's also running for Senate himself.
"I've already raised a fair amount of money for him," Mr. Wilson said (we'll see FEC reports that could bear this out soon). "I think if I were to choose..." he started to say, before the host decided what he had to say was more important.
Mr. Doheny, of course, will challenge Democratic Rep. Bill Owens in November 2012. Mr. Wilson is Mr. Doheny's campaign finance chairman, the public face for a 50-member fundraising effort.
Mr. Wilson, a fiscal conservative who had a good showing in a Democratic state against Comptroller Tom DiNapoli in 2010, burnishes a bipartisan appeal and a background as a fiscal hawk. He worked on President Obama's team that helped the Detroit auto industry do a three point turn (don't you hate when people say "no pun intended" when they intend a pun?). In a Democratic state, such proximity to Democratic figures can only help.
Mr. Wilson also lauded Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo, with a caveat.
"I think he's generally done a very good job," Mr. Wilson said. "I don't agree with his latest tax increase. First of all, he totally flip flopped, and second of all, it's bad policy."
The tax code changes will increase taxes by almost 2 percent for those who make more than $1 million, and lower them by 0.4 percent for most middle-class taxpayers.
"For some taxpayers it's so modest it's almost irrelevant," Mr. Wilson said.
And more locally, Mr. Wilson said he believes that Mr. Doheny will win in the rematch with Mr. Owens; he said a third-party candidate in 2010, the unnamed Doug Hoffman, "stole votes" from Mr. Doheny when he lost that year.
Here is the video: