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Marc Cenedella, Kirsten Gillibrand's Would-Be Challenger, Bows Out

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WASHINGTON -- It looks like the sudden political pressure over raunchy blogging by Marc Cenedella took its toll, as the CEO of TheLadders.com announced Tuesday that he will not challenge Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) in the 2012 Senate contest.

"I will not be running for the United States Senate in 2012," Cenedella said in a statement, which came just days after a slew of publicity over questionable blog posts and news revealed by The Huffington Post that he was once sued for backpay and overtime by his own workers.

Still, although Cenedella alluded to those reports, he insisted that Gillibrand is ripe for defeat. "Her early and unfounded attacks on me, her weak poll numbers, and her lethargic quarterly fundraising results all point to a politician in trouble -- and encourage me to challenge her," he said.

Ultimately, he contended, his choice came down to a business decision.

"Running for the Senate this year, under this accelerated election calendar, is untenable for me from a business perspective," Cenedella said. "The calendar is too tight for me to do what I need to do politically and professionally to win this seat in 2012. I promised to make a quick decision on whether to run for the Senate out of respect for the Republican and Conservative Parties and the other candidates pursuing this race, and I fulfill that promise today."

The New York Republican Party has had no luck trying to take on Gillibrand, who was first appointed to replace Sen. Hillary Clinton. In 2010's special election to fill the seat, none of the big-name New York Republicans got off the sidelines, including former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Rep. Pete King, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee.

Instead, Gillibrand coasted to a 23-point win against former Rep. Joe DioGuardi.

Cenedella was not well-known, but he is a successful businessman and had pledged to spend millions of his own money in the quest. Now the GOP is left with Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos, another wealthy businessman who is willing to spend millions.

Cenedella vowed to help in the effort.

"I look forward to doing everything in my power to help the candidate ultimately selected defeat Ms. Gillibrand and her errant policies for the sake of economic growth in this state," Cenedella said.

Read a sampler of Marc Cenedella's tweets and blog posts.

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