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Clinton's Senate successor is Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand: NY station

January 22, 2009 |  7:21 pm

New York City television station WPIX is reporting tonight that the state's Democratic governor, David Paterson, has settled on Democratic Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand as the successor for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's now-vacant U.S. Senate seat.Democratic New York Representative Kirsten Gillibrand

Quoting unnamed sources, the station reported on its website moments ago (Hat Tip Don Surber) that the governor would make the announcement at noon Friday in Albany. He has reportedly invited the state's entire congressional delegation to attend then, but asked Gillibrand to arrive at 11.

The governor's office would not confirm or deny the report.

Gillibrand is a moderate Democrat, the 42-year-old mother of two young children who lives in Hudson, N.Y., and is in her second House term.

Most important, perhaps, for Paterson, Gillibrand (pronounced JILL-a-brand) gives him not only a female on his ticket in next year's statewide elections, when she must run to fill the remaining two years of Clinton's term; Gillibrand's also an upstater to balance the dominant downstate power of New Yorkers like himself and Clinton that arouses such traditional resentment in the north.

She's known as a Blue Dog Democrat, not always popular with liberals for her support of the National Rifle Assn. in her significantly rural 20th District, but said to be Clinton's favorite as her replacement.

The report follows by a day the withdrawal of Caroline Kennedy from the competition. Once considered a shoo-in, she ran into difficulties. She says her exit is for personal reasons. But it might also be that she knew she would not get Paterson's political nod. If the report proves true, it leaves New York Atty. Gen. Andrew Cuomo, considered the most experienced candidate, out in the cold without the prominence to challenge Paterson so easily.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photo credit: Office of Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand

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