Who will be NY's next senator?

hillary clinton portraitBarack Obama officially announced today that he's nominating Hillary Clinton to be his Secretary of State. So, New York's going to need a new senator.

David Paterson gets to pick Clinton's replacement. The Gov's said to be leaning toward picking someone who's some combination of 1) a minority, preferably a Latino 2) from upstate 3) a woman. Here's a breakdown of the people who seem to be the front runners. We've also included a few names that are notable, but not necessarily likely:

Andrew Cuomo

Current job: NY Attorney General

Why he would be picked: He's a big name. He has experience in the federal government (he was HUD Secretary during the Clinton admin). People in NY seem to be OK with the idea of a Senator Cuomo. It might help Paterson because Cuomo's had his eye on Paterson's job.

Why he wouldn't be picked: He doesn't fit the profile that Paterson reportedly is using. Sure, people polled say they're in favor of him, but maybe that's because they don't recognize the other names. And Paterson might be annoyed that Cuomo's people seem to be spreading rumors that Cuomo is the front runner.


Adolfo Carrion Jr

Current job: Bronx Burrough President

Why he would be picked: He's a Latino. And he has enough of a national profile that apparently he's being considered for a role in the Obama Admin.

Why he wouldn't be picked: He's from downstate, which would make all of the state's top officials downstaters. He might end working in the Obama Admin.


Nydia Velázquez

Current job: Representative, US House 12th District (LES Manhattan, parts of Brooklyn and Queens)

Why she'd be picked: She has lots of experience in the House (since 1993). She's a woman. She's a Latina.

Why she wouldn't be picked: She's from downstate. Not a big name around the state.


Byron Brown

Current job: Mayor of Buffalo

Why he'd be picked: He's not just from upstate, but Western NY. He's the first black mayor of Buffalo. He's a former New York State senator. Tom Golisano might be willing to help chip in towards an election campaign in 2010.

Why he wouldn't be picked: He's not a woman. He's not a name most people recognize.


Kirsten Gillibrand

Current job: Representative, US House 20th District

Why she would be picked: She's won twice now in a district that has more Republicans than Democrats. She's been a good fundraiser. She's considered a rising star in the national Democratic Party. If this seat came open two or four years from now, she'd probably be in the running. She's a woman. She's from upstate. (She hasn't said much publicly about all this.)

Why she wouldn't be picked: She's not a minority. She's not a big name. She hasn't even started her second term in the House yet.


Brian Higgins

Current job: Representative, US House 27th District

Why he'd be picked: Experienced elected official, in both the House and the NYS Assembly. From way upstate.

Why he wouldn't: He's not a woman or a minority. Not a well-known name.


Caroline Kennedy

Current job: lawyer, author, famous person

Why she'd be picked: Has a great last name. She's a woman. She's not a politician.

Why she wouldn't be picked: She's not a politician. She doesn't have experience in government. She's neither a minority nor from upstate.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

Current job: environmental activist

Why he'd be picked: Legacy.

Why he wouldn't be picked: Has never held elected office. Not from upstate. Not a woman. Not a minority.


Bill Clinton

Current job: former US President

Why he'd be picked: Some have actually floated his name. It's not like he wouldn't be qualified.

Why he wouldn't be picked: Doesn't fit the profile. And, you know, probably has other stuff he'd rather do.


David Paterson says he'll be taking his time to make the pick -- and won't name anyone until Clinton has officially left her seat.

Comments

I would love to see Billy Boy get appointed. It won't happen, but how perfect.

My bet would be either Nydia Velázquez, Nita Lowey or Brian Higgins. Someone who has Congressional experience.

Nita Lowey took herself out of the pool today.

Good news, Mr. Paterson. Your job just got a little easier.

Please! Cuomo's tenure at HUD is synonymous with corruption. I'm still amazed he got AG job.

Ryan is right, I think it would be fascinating to have Buba as our senator. If you ever wanted to get his attention about an issue all you'd have to do is put a donut on a string and dangle it next to a window in his house. And he'd forcefully bust open his front door, waddle across his yard and shout "come back donut, come back" in his trademark southern accent. At which point you would apply the whole bait-and-switch technique where you would make him listen to your concerns for the state before allowing him to catch the donut. Make sure you videotape the whole thing too and upload it to youtube. Because I'd really love to see it.

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