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McHugh Hearing Next Week

Rep. John McHugh (R-N.Y.), nominated to serve as secretary of the Army, will appear Thursday before the Senate Armed Services Committee for what is expected to be a smooth confirmation hearing.

The Republican lawmaker stepped down from his ranking member post on the House Armed Services Committee after being nominated by President Barack Obama for the secretary job on June 2.

Also testifying before the Armed Services panel Thursday will be Dr. Joseph W. Westphal, nominated to be undersecretary of the Army, and Juan M. Garcia III, nominated to serve as an assistant secretary for the Navy.

Assuming McHugh is confirmed — a full Senate vote could come as early as the first week of August — upstate New Yorkers will launch a special election to fill the soon-to-be-vacant seat. Upstate Republicans on Wednesday chose state Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava to be their nominee, while Democrats are still searching for a candidate.