Saturday, January 24, 2009

Kirsten Gillibrand is our new Senator

I am very pleased Gov. Patterson picked Kirsten Gillibrand to replace Hillary Clinton. She is an excellent choice and will serve upstate NY and Western, NY well. Thank you Gov. David Patterson.

ALBANY, N.Y. (WIVB) - Upstate New York hasn't had representation in the United States Senate in almost 40 years, but that is about to change.

Friday, Governor David Paterson ended weeks of speculation and appointed a relatively unknown congresswoman from the Albany area to fill Hillary Clinton's shoes in the Senate.

Elizabeth Randell of Buffalo said, "From what I've heard, she has more experience than Hillary has with this part of the world, so hopefully she knows a little bit more about what we need."

People are just learning about Kirsten Gillibrand, a pro-gun conservative Democrat, twice elected to Congress in a rural Republican district.

Gillibrand (D) said, "I will look for ways to find common ground between upstate and downstate. There are so many issues where we can come together."

One big issue seems to stand out for western New Yorkers.

Mike DeFranco said, "...the economy, man. It's horrible around here trying to find a job. Good luck."

Randell said, "...obviously bring jobs; economic stability. That's the big thing."

Bruce Fisher said, "Is she interested in foreign policy? Who cares. What we care about, what western New York cares about, what the whole country cares about right now is the economic crisis."

Bruce Fisher is an Economics and Finance Professor at Buffalo State College.

He's worked for three U.S. Senators, and thinks the governor picked Gillibrand because she's an upstater who he can run with in 2010.

Fisher said, "Some people may disagree with his pick but I think it's a fairly astute statement. It's his way of saying 'that I am a candidate for governor in 2010.'"

The state political culture is dominated by downstate politicians.

Fisher thinks Paterson upset many of them. But he believes the governor wanted a woman to replace Clinton, and thinks it could be a smart political move for Paterson.

Fisher said, "It was a very tough decision. Many people will disagree with it. I see where it might work for him."

Gillibrand will be sworn in as a Senator on Sunday.

She'll have to run for the seat next year, and she'll likely be challenged in the Democratic primary.

Kirsten Gillibrand meets with concerned dairy farmers in rural, NY.

Obama lauds Gillibrand pick

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