ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Republican Jay Townsend shrugs off the vast money gap between him and Sen. Charles Schumer and the polls showing the two-term Democrat ahead by dozens of points in his re-election bid.

The Hudson Valley political consultant says he entered the race to give New Yorkers a choice.

With Schumer widely considered a shoo-in, one of Townsend’s toughest tasks as a little-known candidate is getting noticed. Townsend is the only major-party candidate for Senate in New York who has not purchased TV ad time — almost a necessity to become known in this sprawling state.

Schumer is one of the most high-profile politicians in New York. He wields considerable influence as the No. 3 Democrat in the Senate and has helped shape major legislation like the health care overhaul.

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