New York Republicans have been on a serious losing streak lately, but the party is pitching two of its biggest names as likely contenders for statewide office next year.

Former New York City Mayor Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiGaetz hires legal counsel amid DOJ probe Georgia lieutenant governor: Giuliani election claims helped lead to new voting law Rep. Lee Zeldin announces bid for New York governor MORE (R), whose name has been floated as a possible gubernatorial candidate, and Rep. Peter King (R), a potential challenger to appointed Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D), will headline the Albany Republican Party's annual Lincoln-Reagan Dinner on April 20.

It's a long trip for both Giuliani and King, who represents Long Island, and party chairman John Graziano pulled no punches in playing up his speaker's potential.

"They say it's always darkest before the dawn," Graziano said in a release. "Well, let me tell you, with a strong possibility of Rudy Giuliani and Peter King leading our ticket in the 2010 elections, the Republican sun is about to rise."

King had announced his intentions to run for Senate against Caroline Kennedy, had she won the appointment, though he has been quieter about his plans since Gillibrand was named. Polls have shown Giuliani leading Gov. David Paterson (D), whose popularity ratings have plummeted, though the former mayor trails other potential Democratic candidates.

-Reid Wilson