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  •   Ferraro Loses New York Senate Bid

    Geraldine Ferraro (D)
    Former vice presidential nominee Geraldine Ferraro (D) talks to a supporter after losing the New York Democratic Senate primary. (AP)
    By Marc Humbert
    Associated Press Writer
    Wednesday, September 16, 1998; 3:36 a.m. EDT

    NEW YORK (AP) — In 1984, Geraldine Ferraro was a national sensation – the first woman chosen by a major party to run for vice president.

    On Tuesday, after a stinging defeat in her latest comeback attempt, she declared her political career finished.

    Ms. Ferraro was soundly drubbed by well-financed U.S. Rep. Charles Schumer for the Democratic nomination to challenge GOP Sen. Al D'Amato, her second failed attempt in six years to win the nod.

    With 96 percent of precincts reporting early today, Schumer had 367,167 votes, or 51 percent, to Ms. Ferraro's 188,454 votes, or 26 percent. New York City's elected public advocate, Mark Green, had 140,727 votes, or 19 percent.

    But while Ms. Ferraro said she had run her last race, she promised her voice would still be heard.

    "As my campaign for U.S. Senate ends, and for any future elective office, I want you to know I will continue to speak up for issues I believe in," she told supporters at a Manhattan hotel.

    Ms. Ferraro gave up a $195,000-a-year job as a co-host of CNN's "Crossfire" program to enter the race in January, months behind Schumer and Green.

    Her campaign suffered problems with fund raising and getting out a concise message. Green became fond of saying she was "running on the fumes of fame."

    Meanwhile, Schumer dipped into his $13 million campaign fund to blanket the state with television advertisements months before the primary. What had been an early lead in the polls for Ms. Ferraro gradually eroded.

    Unlike the rancor left after the bruising 1992 Democratic nomination fight, Ms. Ferraro and Schumer planned to hold a unity celebration to focus on D'Amato.

    "Al D'Amato, you ain't seen nothing yet!" Schumer told cheering supporters at a victory party.

    D'Amato, unopposed for the GOP nomination, turned back a challenge from political science professor Thomas Droleskey to retain the anti-abortion Right to Life Party's ballot line. The Right to Life vote in 1992 provided D'Amato with his winning margin.

    In the Democratic primary to pick a challenger to Gov. George Pataki, City Council Speaker Peter Vallone easily defeated Lt. Gov. Betsy McCaughey Ross, who became a Democrat a year ago after a falling out with the Republican governor.

    With 96 percent of precincts reporting, Vallone had 397,486 votes, or 56 percent, while McCaughey Ross had 148,547 votes, or 21 percent.

    In a House race, Randall Terry, founder of the anti-abortion group Operation Rescue, lost his well-financed bid to apple farmer William "Bud" Walker for the GOP nomination to challenge Democratic incumbent Maurice Hinchey. Republican leaders had backed Walker's bid to represent the district that stretches from the Hudson River Valley across much of the state's southern tier.

    In Manhattan, entertainer Rosie O'Donnell's brother, former Legal Aid attorney Daniel O'Donnell, failed to win the Democratic nomination for an open state Senate seat, losing to Eric Schneiderman.

    © Copyright 1998 The Associated Press

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