Aaron Parsley
March 26, 2010 08:00 AM

We know she can stand up to Simon Cowell, but how is Kara DioGuardi at kissing babies?

The American Idol judge – and professional songwriter – may soon be a senator’s daughter. Her father, Joseph DioGuardi, is running for the office of U.S. Senator from New York, challenging Hillary Clinton’s replacement, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand. Clinton left her position to become the Secretary of State under President Barack Obama.

Mr. DioGuardi was a two-term congressman from the suburbs north of New York City in the ’80s, and the Idol judge recently spoke with PEOPLE about growing up with a dad in Congress, what she inherited from him and what kind of advice she can offer him on the campaign trail.

“I’m just happy to see him follow his dreams,” a proud Kara said of her father’s bid. “I love him, he’s my dad and I wish him well.”

And her dad has a new reason to be proud as well. Kara will make her concert debut at the Borgota Spa and Resort in Atlantic City on April 9 and 10.

“I will be performing many of the hit songs I have written and telling the audience the story behind them and the personal stories that created them,” she said in a statement.

DioGuardi’s songwriting credits include Christina Aguilera‘s “Ain’t No Other Man,” Pink‘s “Sober” and Kelly Clarkson‘s “Walk Away.”

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