Hanna Wins N.Y. Republican Primary Aided by Billionaire

U.S. Representative Richard Hanna of New York won nomination for another term in his state’s Republican primary today, defeating a Tea Party-backed challenger.

Hanna’s supporters included a super-political action committee founded with the help of billionaire Paul Singer that encourages Republicans to support gay marriage. Hanna supports same-sex unions and abortion rights.

With 95 percent of precincts reporting, Hanna had 53 percent of the vote to 47 percent for state Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney, according to the Associated Press tally in New York’s 22nd District.

Singer’s super-PAC, American Unity PAC, paid for ads attacking Tenney’s votes against budget and tax bills in the state Assembly. Another spot featured an endorsement of Hanna by Rudolph Giuliani, a former New York City mayor. Super-PACs can raise campaign funds in unlimited amounts to independently aid candidates for federal offices.

Singer leads New York-based investment firm Elliott Management Corp.

Hanna, 63, touted his votes to cut federal spending and repeal President Barack Obama’s health-care law.

Tenney, 52, compared herself to David Brat, an economics professor who unseated House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in Virginia’s Republican primary earlier this month. She criticized Hanna’s votes to raise the federal debt limit and against adding a one-year delay of Obamacare to a short-term spending bill.

Tenney won a late endorsement from the Tea Party Patriots, a group based in the Atlanta area that supports limited government. Rick Santorum, a former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania who ran for president in 2012, and talk-radio hosts Laura Ingraham and Sean Hannity also promoted Tenney’s candidacy.

Hanna is assured of winning a third term in November after no Democrat filed to run in the House district, which takes in Utica and Binghamton as it runs from Lake Ontario south to the Pennsylvania border.

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