Sen. Charles Schumer has represented New York for more than a decade with little serious opposition, but a funny thing happened on the way to Election Day this year: He picked up a challenge from a comedian activist.
Randy Credico's race against the formidable incumbent is already drawing a glimmer of celebrity intrigue, with "Seinfeld" co-creator Larry David offering support for his fellow comic.
"I thought he was joking," David said. "Charles Schumer is not going to be that comfortable with this . . . It's not a stunt."
Credico said he hopes to take on Schumer in a primary for the Democratic line, but he's also talking to the Libertarian Party. He wouldn't be the first comic in the Senate now that Al Franken is the Democratic junior senator from Minnesota.
Schumer, who's from Brooklyn, is a policy wonk, known for his dark suits, serious demeanor and Sunday news conferences. He prides himself on visiting all of the state's 62 counties every year and has been described as one of the hardest-working politicians in Washington - and one of the most media-savvy.
Credico, who hails from Pamona, Calif., and lives in Manhattan, is a recovering cocaine addict who mines his drug years for jokes. He's an impressionist and a political activist with a shaky grasp on the present, so what he says is more stream of consciousness than gospel.
He's trying to finish his memoir but has years of blank periods from drug use. He figures, what better way to get dirt dredged up on you than run for office? "If I get close to winning this thing, I'll find out," he joked.
He's spoken out for years against what had been long, mandatory sentences of New York State's drug laws and has helped push for clemency for men and women who he believes were harshly sentenced or falsely accused of crimes.
Credico has a platform - he supports decriminalizing drugs and ending the drug war, opposes gun control, supports an immediate military pullout from Afghanistan and Iraq and a ban on torture. But mostly he's about "Dump Schumer."
Schumer, who declined to comment, is third in the Senate power hierarchy and could be the next Senate majority leader if Harry Reid isn't re-elected.