Gillibrand emerging as Senate favorite

January 22, 2009 8:17:03 PM PST
Democratic Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand emerged as a leading contender Thursday night as New York Gov. David Paterson closed in on a decision to fill the state's vacant Senate seat, according to party officials monitoring events in the wake of Caroline Kennedy's abrupt withdrawal from consideration. Several officials said Paterson had summoned fellow New York Democrats to Albany for a meeting immediately before he is expected to announce his pick on Friday.

The seat became vacant when Hillary Rodham Clinton resigned to become secretary of state in the Obama administration.

Kennedy, the daughter of the late President John F. Kennedy, had been viewed as the front-runner until her abrupt decision to withdraw late Wednesday.

Gillibrand, 42, is a second-term lawmaker from upstate New York.

The officials who described the events did so on condition of anonymity, saying they were not authorized to discuss them.

They stressed that the appointment still could go elsewhere, including to New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo.

In an irony, Gillibrand was an official in the Housing and Urban Development Department during the administration of former President Bill Clinton at the time Cuomo headed the agency.

Paterson's most recent public disclosure on the vacancy came in writing, when he issued a statement saying Kennedy's decision "was hers alone" and that he hadn't ruled out any candidate before she withdrew.

Like other events surrounding the vacancy, her withdrawal created a swirl of confusion.

She called the governor around midday Wednesday and told him she was having second thoughts about the job, according to one person close to Paterson, who said she later decided to remain in contention, only to announce her withdrawal in an e-mail.

Paterson's appointment will serve until 2010, when a special election will be held to fill the final two years of Clinton's term.


MORE NEW YORK AND TRI-STATE AREA NEWS

USEFUL LINKS:
SEND TIP OR PHOTO  || REPORT TYPO ||  GET WIDGET

 EYEWITNESS TWITTER ||  FIND US ON FACEBOOK


Load Comments