Former Gov. George Pataki won re-election to a third term in 2002.

In the decade since, no other Republican in New York has won a statewide election.

It’s a troubling gap for a party that through the 1990s controlled the governor’s mansion, the state Senate, the attorney general’s office and the mayoralty of New York City in a Democratic-dominated state.

Now, only the Senate remains the final lever of power for the Republicans in New York.

The Republican apparatus has been undone for a variety of reasons, but Pataki, endorsing U.S. Senate candidate Wendy Long today in Manhattan, says that if GOP candidates today can draw distinctions with Democrats currently in office.

“I think the people of New York haven’t changed. They still have the same desires,” he said. “They want safe streets, they want good schools, they want to have jobs for themselves and more importantly when they look to their kids they want jobs there and I think what Wendy and Republicans have to do and I think Wendy is doing, is show how the policies of those Democrats currently in office are not making the schools better, they’re not making the streets better, they’re not helping our children have a better future.

He added, “I think without changing our principles one bit, if we can make that connection to the families of this state who are worried about jobs, worried about the future, worried about their children, then we can win.”

Long chances of actually winning the Senate from Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand are considered very low. She has little name recognition, has never held elective office before and faces an incumbent with a considerable cash advantage who has made in-roads with the state’s liberal electorate.

But Long, a lawyer and judicial activist, scoffed at the idea that Gillibrand considers herself an underdog after sending out a fundraising appeal with the subject line “outspent.”

“We ran a very lean primary campaign,” Long said. “She has $10 million She’s obviously trying to raise more money, just like her phony war on women is scare tactics. I think she uses these things to get people worked up and get more campaign contributions.”