Updated at 9:15 pm: This TU article contains the best evidence we've seen that Paterson will name Gillibrand on Friday.
After supposed front-runner Caroline Kennedy dropped out last night because of (a tax problem?, a nanny problem?, a public speaking problem?, a who-knows-what problem?), the media has picked a new front runner. And it's Kirsten Gillibrand.
As you can probably imagine, that has people scrambling.
+ North Country Public Radio reports that Gillibrand's office is "being flooded with press inquiries from around the world."
+ Sandy Treadwell says he'll run again for Gillibrand's seat if she's picked. NCPR reports that Republican state Senator Betty Little is already angling for Gillibrand's seat. The TU reports that Republicans Jim Tedisco and John Faso (he ran against Spitzer for governor in 2006) are also among the anglers.
+ The conventional wisdom has been that one thing holding Gillibrand back for the Senate is that state Democrats don't want to open her seat to a Republican challenge. But in an extensive breakdown of the enrollment numbers, the TU's Irene Liu points out that Gillibrand's district could be relatively easily broken up during the redistricting coming in 2010.
+ Jerry Jennings is backing Andrew Cuomo over Gillibrand, according to Liz Benjamin.
+ The Village Voice's Wayne Barrett details Gillibrand's extensive political connections in New York State and questions if she's "too Republican" for the job.
+ On Intrade, the predictions market, options on Gillibrand are trading at almost 50 this afternoon -- which means the "market" thinks she has a 50 percent shot of getting the seat. Options for Andrew Cuomo are sliding -- they were at 33 this afternoon. (Warning: the Intrade links re-size the browser window -- it's annoying, but there's no other way to link directly to relevant pages.)
+ Peter King, the Republican House member who's talked about running for the Senate seat in 2010, said today the process has become "a circus." [via Liz Benjamin] And a Republican state senator recently referred to the selection process as "a game show."
The word going around now is that Paterson will announce his choice on Friday -- but, hey, things change.
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