Reports: Gillibrand will replace Clinton in Senate

With Caroline Kennedy out of contention, New York Gov. David Paterson has reportedly settled on Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand as the state's next senator.

Published January 23, 2009 3:00AM (EST)

Multiple news outlets are now reporting that, with Caroline Kennedy out of contention, New York Gov. David Paterson will announce Friday that he's appointing Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand to fill Hillary Clinton's vacant Senate seat.

This doesn't appear to be an absolutely sure thing -- some of the state's bigger outlets, including New York City's three major daily papers, haven't yet said Gillibrand is the choice, and much of the reporting is of the "signs point to" nature. But the chatter among the state's Democrats, including members of the state's congressional delegation who were reportedly briefed on the decision and rival contenders for the post, seems to indicate that the congresswoman will indeed be the state's next senator.

If the reports are true, then this is an interesting choice. Gillibrand is one of New York's more conservative Democrats, and considering the deep blue shade of statewide politics here, moderation wasn't really a necessary qualification for the pick. Moreover, Gillibrand's strong pro-gun stance has fellow Democratic Rep. Carolyn McCarthy -- whose husband was one of those murdered in an infamous 1993 attack on the Long Island Rail Road -- promising a primary challenge in 2010.

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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David Paterson Kirsten Gillibrand D-n.y.