Two members of that delegation, agreeing to speak without attribution, told PIX11 reporter Marvin Scott that the Governor has telephoned New York's Democratic members of Congress for their views after Caroline Kennedy withdrew herself from consideration. One of the contenders, long-term Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney canceled a scheduled appearance on "PIX News Closeup" Friday because of a "conflict," which she did not disclose. She too will be in Albany. According to the sources, Gillibrand, now in her second congressional term, is favored by Secretary of State Clinton herself. Paterson has been under pressure to select a woman.
With most Democratic leaders in Albany coming from the New York City area, one source said this would be an important move for the Governor to have a Senator from upstate. Sources say Gillibrand, a blue-dog Democrat and a good fundraiser, would be an asset to Paterson in any bid for election in 2010. However, since her name has moved high on the list of candidates, there has been criticism of her voting record and of her support of the National Rifle Association.
UPDATE: NY Gov. picks upstate NY congresswoman to Senate
While some insist Gillibrand is the Governor's choice, another New York Congressman cautioned that "It's not a done deal." He claims there is some political in-fighting and ongoing conversations with the Governor. There appears to be some challenge to Gillibrand's voting record. Reached for comment, the Dean of New York's Congressional delegation, Charlie Rangel, would say nothing more than that he's been invited to join the governor for an announcement in Albany.
Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, who is considered the candidate with the most experience for the Senate seat, had been considered a frontrunner. But the Congressional sources disclosed, "appointing him would present the Governor with problems in the selection of a successor," one that could lead to a potential political battle in Albany. Combative Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and the legislature would have to approve the state's next Attorney General.
It looks solid, but as one source noted, "in politics you never know," but based on the information they have heard and shared with PIX News, Governor Paterson is poised to name Kirsten Gillibrand as New York's next Senator at a news conference at noon Friday and PIX News will carry it live on the air and on the web.
Gillibrand was sworn into office in January 2007 and serves as U.S. Representative to New York's Twentieth Congressional District, which stretches across the upstate counties of Saratoga, Dutchess, Columbia, Rensselaer, Washington, Warren, Delaware, Greene, Essex and Otsego.
Gillibrand, who resides in Hudson, New York, is married and has two children, a four-year-old and an infant.