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The BBC's Jane Hughes
"She faces huge uncertainty in the weeks to come"
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Hillary Clinton
"I would not be standing here tonight if it were not for Bill"
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Wednesday, 17 May, 2000, 03:41 GMT 04:41 UK
Democrats launch Hillary for Senate

"I would not be standing here tonight were it not for Bill"

First Lady Hillary Clinton has been nominated by the Democratic Party to run for the US Senate amidst reports that Republican opponent Rudolph Giuliani may pull out of the race.

With thousands of supporters cheering her on, she was nominated unanimously by a Democratic Party convention to fight for one of New York state's two senate seats.

We are producing countless new fortunes, yet we have the second-highest rate of poverty in the country and the biggest gap between the rich and the poor

Hillary Clinton
The First Lady mentioned her husband briefly in her remarks, saying: "I am so grateful for his support. I would not be standing here tonight were it not for Bill."

President Bill Clinton changed his schedule at the last minute to join more than 5,000 delegates at the convention.

Mrs Clinton told them her mission was to improve the lives of New York's families and children.

Mrs Clinton is the first president's wife ever to run for national office.

Tight race for Giuliani

Opinion polls show that New York Mayor Giuliani is running Mrs Clinton close, despite the reports that he may be forced to pull out.

Giuliani and Nathan
Rudolph Giuliani has been frequently seen with a lady friend
Mrs Clinton has 44% support compared to Mr Giuliani's 43%, according to the poll by Quinnipiac College's Polling Institute.

An earlier New York Times poll showed Mrs Clinton ahead eight points, 49% to Mr Giuliani's 41%.

Mr Giuliani recently stunned New York with the announcement that he has prostate cancer.

And his moral fitness to run is being questioned because of his decision to separate from his wife and her accusation that he's guilty of adultery.

Republicans in turmoil

Mr Giuliani told his supporters on Monday that he was "very much inclined" to stay in the race but had to determine his course of medical treatment before he could decide.

If he does decide not to run, analysts say Mrs Clinton can easily win the Senate seat.

Mr Giuliani's likely replacement, Rick Lazio, a New York congressman, would get only 31% of the vote, according to some polls.

New York's Republicans are due to confirm their candidate for the elections at a 30 May convention in Buffalo.

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See also:

15 May 00 | Americas
Giuliani: Business as usual
10 May 00 | Americas
Giuliani to separate from wife
08 Apr 00 | Americas
Hillary edges ahead in polls
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