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Greg Ball Drops Out of New York Race

New York Assemblyman Greg Ball (R), the controversial conservative who had been waging an aggressive campaign against Rep. John Hall (D-N.Y.), announced Saturday that he would abandon his bid for Congress and run for state Senate instead.In a statement posted on his campaign Web site, Ball said he thought he could have the greatest impact in Albany fighting against “a handful of insiders— who are intent on destroying the state.Ball’s decision also short-circuits a potentially nasty and destructive Republican Congressional primary. Although Ball had the GOP field to himself for months, Westchester County physician Nan Hayworth entered the race in late September, with the apparent blessing of some GOP officials who felt Ball was too controversial a figure to mount an effective campaign against Hall.But by running for state Senate, Ball is setting up a divisive primary against incumbent state Sen. Vincent Leibell (R), a political enemy of Ball’s who has worked against Ball during his two successful runs for the Assembly.Ball sought to portray his decision to run for the state Senate instead of Congress a selfless act.“I have had the privilege of working with Assemblyman Greg Ball over the last eight months as he has pursued his dream of serving in The House of Representatives,— Chairman William DeProspo of the Orange County Republican Committee said in a statement included on Ball’s Web site. “Greg’s decision today, to set aside his own personal ambitions and aspirations speaks volumes of his character and integrity. His candidacy for the New York State Senate is an exciting one for all New Yorkers and one I personally look forward to seeing become a reality. He will have my full support.—Hall, a former pop star, was first elected to Congress in his Hudson Valley district in 2006, ousting then-Rep. Sue Kelly (R). National Republican leaders have attempted to portray Hayworth as a moderate in the Kelly mold.

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