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Another bright NY woman senator?

November 25, 2008 - John Stack
It seems like Kirsten Gillibrand is on the short list to take Hillary Clinton’s Senate seat when Hillary assumes (as expected) her role as Secretary of State. The talking heads have been throwing out there the normal names like Andrew Cuomo (me included). But, it looks like Gillibrand may be on a very short list. Democratic leaders have expressed the idea that they would like an up-stater to take the position. Also, they are looking at nailing some other constituencies. They would like possibly a black, a Hispanic or a woman (or some combination therof!).
I submit that Gillibrand would be a great asset for NY and the North Country. She is very bright, having graduated Magna Cum Laude from Dartmouth. Upstate voters have always been leery (probably rightly so) of our senators coming from downstate (or even from Arkansas/Washington DC). From going to grade school in Albany and high school in Troy, she is definitely a upstate New Yorker. Like another recent vice presidential candidate, she also gave birth recently while in public service. But mostly, she has gotten elected twice as a Democrat now in one of the most Republican districts in the State. She recently crushed Sandy Treadwell, showing some real power, as Treadwell dumped millions into his campaign.
Up-staters don’t really identify so much with the very left of NYC. If anything, Gillibrand is no left wing liberal. She is a staunch opponent of gun control, and an advocate for the 2nd Amendment. She also famously opposed the inane 700 billion dollar bailout. If someone could be called a maverick, she makes John McCain’s ‘maverick’ look more like Soupy Sales.
Ironically, for us in the 20th congressional district, this could be not so good. Paterson has said that if he appoints Gillibrand (or any other congressman) he will leave the position open until a special election (I believe). Who is going to represent us? Treadwell really shouldn’t as he just got his clock cleaned. It would be a terrible embarrassment if Sweeney tried some type of comeback.  Then again, I’m sure there won’t be any lack of contenders.


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