Update: New York, Meet Senator Kirsten Gillibrand

After a month of rumors, New York Governor David Paterson has selected 42-year-old Kirsten Gillibrand as the replacement for now-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Gillibrand has just begun her second term as the Representative from New York’s 20th district—one of the most conservative districts currently held by a Democratic House member.

Gillibrand is a member of conservative Blue Dog caucus. She is the only NY Democrat to have voted against the TARP legislation both times it came before the House, and has supported the renewal of Bush tax cuts.

Gillibrand has also been criticized for her close ties to the NRA. Her positions on gun control are likely to earn Gillibrand a primary challenge from Long Island Representative Carolyn McCarthy.

Gillibrand’s positions on some social issues is, shall we say, a work in progress. Once maligned for her less than clear statements on abortion rights, Gillibrand and her supporters now make it clear that she is solidly pro-choice. Gillibrand has also moved to support full marriage rights for same-sex couples; a position she was much less clear about just weeks ago. (Her new position is stronger than either that of current Senator Chuck Schumer or former Senator Clinton.)


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