Spin Cycle

News, views and commentary on Long Island, state and national politics.

Sarah Palin, Fox News commentator, announced today that she's backing John Gomez, good friend of Fox News host Sean Hannity, for Rep. Steve Israel's congressional seat.

For Team Gomez, this will surely bring a welcome dose of publicity for a campaign that, despite its high-profile Hannity connection, has so far failed to generate the type of excitement (read: fundraising) necessary for a Republican to defeat a Democratic incumbent in a Democratic district.

And indeed, Gomez celebrated the endorsement with an all-caps e-mail blast. Spokesman Jim Dobkowski declined to provide additional comment.

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Palin's endorsements in 2010 have sometimes been influential in GOP primaries, sometimes not. They have yet to been tested in general elections. One caveat in this instance: The McCain-Palin 2008 presidential ticket lost NY-02, 56 percent to 43 percent. Israel (D-Huntington) beat the ill-funded Frank Stalzer 66 percent to 33 percent.

Israel campaign manager Lindsay Hamilton -- who is on leave from her job as Israel's congressional communications director -- responded thusly: "Sarah Palin's endorsement proves that John Gomez's strategy is to seek right-wing support from outside of New York. Meanwhile, Steve Israel remains focused on rebuilding the local economy and passing tax reform to help Long Island families."