NEW YORK (AP) — New York’s Democratic Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand both sought a new term Tuesday, a political novelty stemming from Gillibrand’s appointment last year.

Schumer is heavily favored to win a third term in a race against Republican Jay Townsend, a political consultant from the Hudson Valley making his first run for public office.

Gillibrand is seeking election to the seat she was appointed to last year after Hillary Rodham Clinton resigned to become secretary of state. She is running in a special election against Republican Joe DioGuardi for a term expiring in 2012, which is when Clinton’s term would have ended.

DioGuardi is a certified public accountant who represented Westchester County in the House for two terms in the 1980s.

Gillibrand was appointed by Gov. David Paterson in January 2009. A win would be a milestone in her brief Senate career, in which she was initially labeled by critics as too inexperienced and conservative.

Gillibrand has spent her Senate term building a statewide reputation and alliances with party power brokers. She has raised more than $12 million and polls showed her with a wide lead over DioGuardi.

DioGuardi has said that in a year of voter dissatisfaction, his message of fiscal discipline will vault him past Gillibrand.

The race for Schumer’s seat has been eclipsed by more contentious and competitive races in New York.

Sitting on a political warchest that swelled to $23.2 million by August, Schumer has been able to give out millions from his campaign fund to help fellow Democrats in tighter races. Schumer is considered a possible successor to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid if the Nevada senator loses his re-election bid.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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