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Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, who has vowed to make the special election in New York’s 20th district the first step on the GOP’s road to recovery, will headline a March 4 fundraiser for the party’s nominee, state Assembly Minority Leader James Tedisco.

Steele and former New York Gov. George Pataki (R) will appear together at the event for Tedisco that is being held at the home of Andrew Saul, a wealthy businessman and regular Republican donor who lives a little south of the 20th district. Jennifer Saul, Andrew Saul’s daughter and the Republican National Committeewoman for New York, is also listed on the fundraiser invitation.

Steele has already traveled to the district to meet with Tedisco and local Republican leaders, and the RNC chipped in $80,000 to help pay for Tedisco’s first ad, which began running earlier this week.

Tedisco is squaring off against venture capitalist Scott Murphy (D) in the March 31 contest to replace Kirsten Gillibrand (D), who was appointed to the Senate in late January. The upstate 20th district is a major GOP target, with 70,000 more enrolled Republicans than Democrats.

Both parties have been regularly whacking the others’ nominee. Republicans are making hay of the fact that Murphy did not vote eight times in a five-year period when he was registered to vote in New York City earlier this decade. Democrats have picked up the Albany Times Union’s call for Tedisco to say whether he would have voted for the economic stimulus package that passed in Congress last week.

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