ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP/CBS 2) — Democrats Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand took a campaign swing together for the first time Saturday, three days before both U.S. senators are up for election.

The two senators appeared at a rally in Rochester with gubernatorial candidate Andrew Cuomo at the start of a multi-stop upstate trip for the pair.

The senators told the cheering crowd at a local Democratic headquarters that they are fighting for regular New Yorkers.

“Are we going to be the people who fight for the middle class?” Schumer asked “You bet we are!”

Speaking on the same stage, Gillibrand said: “We need to fight for changes that will make it possible for all of us to have the American dream.”

Gillibrand faces Republican Joe DioGuardi, a former Westchester County congressman. Schumer is running for a third term against Republican Jay Townsend, a political consultant from the Hudson Valley. Polls show the two Democratic incumbents with double-digit leads.

Schumer has been a crucial ally to Gillibrand since she was appointed last year to the seat held by Hillary Rodham Clinton, who resigned to become secretary of state.

The campaign swing by Schumer and Gillibrand came after Republican gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino this week accused Gillibrand of following the senior senator’s lead and called her Schumer’s “little girl.”

“She follows him, whatever he does,” Paladino said. “So, she is his little girl.”

Gillibrand called the remark offensive to women.

Schumer and Gillibrand have been allies since she was appointed last year to the seat held by Hillary Rodham Clinton, who became secretary of state.

DioGuardi and Townsend also campaigned upstate Saturday.

DioGuardi said Gillibrand is “a product of the party, I’m a product of the people.” He said he would be a more independent voice as a senator.

Townsend accused Schumer of doing a poor job in fighting for the middle class.

“The middle class has been leaving New York for 12 years,” Townsend said.

Polls show Schumer and Gillibrand leading in their races.


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