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Will Jeanine Jump?

The pressure on Jeanine Pirro to withdraw from the 2006 Senate race against Sen. Clinton is mounting.

State Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno (R.) said recently that if Pirro didn’t make the switch right away to a run for state attorney general, it might soon be too late for her to do so. He noted there was already “frustration” among some party leaders that Pirro hadn’t yet acted. “These people are not going to sit there just watching and waiting,” said Bruno.

Last week, the state’s GOP county chairmen said Pirro should take everyone’s advice and switch races. This is in stark contrast to their posture last June, when 46 out of the state’s 62 county chairmen signed a letter pressing Pirro to run.

Pirro’s response: “I remain a candidate for U.S. Senate, but I greatly respect the opinion of the county chairs and their confidence in my abilities as a statewide candidate.”

State GOP Chairman Stephen Minarik, who originally backed Pirro’s Senate bid, now says he wants her to run instead for attorney general and to make this switch “as soon as possible.”

If Pirro pulls out, it will be the second time Hillary’s prime and arguably most competitive opponent declined early in the campaign to finish what he started. The first was Rudy Giuliani in 2000.

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