Economist David Malpass announced Wednesday that he would seek the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate to challenge Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, saying she is an "unelected occupant" of the seat who has failed to protect the state's taxpayers.
Malpass, 54, of Manhattan, who has served as a deputy assistant secretary of the treasury in the Reagan administration and in a similar State Department role during George H.W. Bush's presidency, bashed Gillibrand especially for her support of what he called President Barack Obama's "deeply flawed" health reform bill.
"Even Governor David Paterson [who appointed Gillibrand to her post] has said the health bill would be terrible for New York," said Malpass, a certified public accountant who calls himself fiscally conservative.
After leaving the former global financial investment firm of Bear Stearns as its chief economist in 2008, Malpass started up Encima Global, an economic research and consulting firm that he still heads.
Accompanied by his wife, Adele, and two staff members, he made his comments to a small media group on the steps of the State Supreme Court Building in Mineola. Earlier in the day he had received the endorsement of Steve Forbes, the editor-in-chief of the business magazine Forbes, for which Malpass cowrites a financial column.
"Sen. Gillibrand supports more and more taxes . . . and is taking jobs away from New Yorkers," Malpass said.
Gillibrand responded through her spokesman Glen Caplin, saying: "As chief global economist for Bear Stearns, David Malpass not only helped cause the financial collapse, he made millions and left taxpayers holding the bill."
Malpass, who said he will be campaigning around the state this week, joins two others already seeking the GOP nomination in the Sept. 14 primary - Bruce Blakeman, a former presiding officer of the Nassau County Legislature, and former Westchester Congressman Joe DioGuardi.
With Dan Janison