Joseph DioGuardi has won a three-way Republican primary election in a bid to unseat Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York.

The former congressman from suburban Westchester County faces a Democrat with a wide lead in the polls and far more campaign cash.

The win is a turnaround for DioGuardi, who had to petition his way on to the ballot after failing to muster enough party support at the state convention.

DioGuardi defeated Bruce Blakeman, a former Long Island local lawmaker, and David Malpass, a former Bear Stearns chief economist.

He is the father of former "American Idol" judge Kara DioGuardi.