Senator Danny O’Donnell (D-NY)?

New York Governor David Paterson is still interviewing candidates to replace incoming Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the Senate.

One of the people he’s spoken to is Danny O’Donnell, an openly gay New York State Assemblyman:

Mr. O’Donnell met with Mr. Paterson for about 45 minutes on Monday afternoon in the governor’s Midtown office for what Mr. O’Donnell said was his formal interview for the Senate seat.

To say Mr. O’Donnell, known for his active support of gay rights issues, including same-sex marriage, was overly optimistic about his chances would be a stretch. He put his odds of getting the seat at about one in 10, or “about the same as the population of gay people in the world.” But Mr. O’Donnell did offer that he believes the governor has yet to settle on a final choice.

“I didn’t get the impression that a decision was coming anytime soon,” Mr. O’Donnell said. “I have the sense that he was really weighing what people were saying. I can tell when people are listening to me and actually listening, and listening to me just because they’re supposed to listen. He seemed to be very intent on focusing on and absorbing what I think my strengths might be.”

If O’Donnell is chosen, he would be the first LGBT American in the United States Senate. Of course, he shouldn’t be chosen just because of that.  But if Paterson decides he’s the best person for the job and appoints him to the Senate, it would represent a major step forward for equal rights.