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Confirm upstate leader Senate should take quick action to approve Gundersen's appointment

Daniel Gundersen may not have found a place to live in Buffalo until last week. But how many lifelong residents have seen as much of Western New York as its new economic development czar already has?

By his own figuring, Gundersen has driven some 22,000 miles around his new territory, the 40,000 square miles that are the rest of New York State. By this week, he expects to have set foot in each of the 48 counties of his domain.

Add a resume that includes big-time economic development work down Pennsylvania way, and there are plenty of reasons for the Senate, when it returns today, to quickly confirm Gov. Eliot L. Spitzer's nomination of Gundersen to be commissioner of economic development and upstate development boss. It would be a shame for all of that expensive gasoline to have been burned in vain.

Gundersen got a rough welcome to New York politics when he was razzed for first moving, not to the Buffalo HQ of the newly split state development bureaucracy, but to Saratoga Springs. His claim that he needed to be near Albany during the confirmation process was weak tea to some upstaters, who were tired of feeling ignored. But the point is now moot. Gundersen has leased a residence in that most Buffalo of addresses, Elmwood Village, and has plans to move his family here after his daughter graduates from her Keystone State high school.

Gundersen has already started his job, logging more miles than a lot of truck drivers. He deserves to be confirmed, today if possible, so he can unpack his bags.

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