Kara and Joseph DioGuardi

Hmmm. How would the other judges vote? American Idol arbiter Kara DioGuardi's father is running for the U.S. Senate.

Joseph DioGuardi, a former Republican congressman, announced his bid Tuesday for the seat held by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., at Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan. His platform: financial responsibility.

"As a New York senator, I would stand up for the common-sense economic and fiscal policies that would bring jobs to New York and put America back on the right track," he said.

Check out photos of Kara DioGuardi

Who knows? An Idol connection may prove to be a good-luck charm: Ayla Brown reached the semifinals on Season 5 of Idol, and her father, Scott Brown, was sworn in as the new Republican senator from Massachusetts last month.

Kara DioGuardi, 39, said she supported her father's new political aspirations. "He always encouraged me in my dreams," the Idol judge told the New York Post. "We don't always agree on every issue. But no matter what our differences are, I love him. He has more energy than anyone I know. When he is working, he is Superman."

A resident of Ossining, north of New York City, the elder DioGuardi, a 69-year-old accountant, served two terms in Congress in the 1980s and wrote legislation dictating that a chief financial officer must be assigned to every major department and agency in the federal government.

The other hopeful officially in the GOP field now is former suburban legislator Bruce Blakeman. The field is expected to grow. David Malpass, formerly Bear Stearns' chief economist, is eyeing a run. And Dan Senor, a foreign policy adviser to President George W. Bush and the husband of CNN's Campbell Brown, may run as well. The state holds its primaries Sept. 14 and the general election is on Nov. 2.

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On Fox News Channel's Fox & Friends, DioGuardi said his daughter has played "a very nice role in my campaign."

When the topic returned to his daughter, he said: "What am I, chopped liver" Still, he went on to good-naturedly answer a question about her wearing a bikini onstage last season: "Well, I was as surprised as anybody."