NY-SEN: It’s Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand (UPDATED X2)

Governor David Paterson will announce his choice to fill New York’s vacant Senate seat today at noon:

New York Gov. David Paterson (D) will end the suspense Friday and name a successor to former Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D), who became secretary of State this week.

Paterson has scheduled a midday news conference in Albany to announce his choice.

And early reports–which, I should mention, have been wrong several times before–are that Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand will get the nod:

Congresswoman Kirsten Gillibrand is the reported choice of Governor David Paterson to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Hillary Clinton. Two Congressional sources say members of the New York delegation have been invited to join Governor Paterson for the announcement in Albany at noon tomorrow.

[…]

As one source noted, “in politics you never know,” but based on the information they have heard and shared with PIX News, Governor Paterson is poised to name Kirsten Gillibrand as New York’s next Senator at a noon news conference Friday in Albany.

Gillibrand isn’t as progressive as I would have liked, but she might just be that way because her district is relatively conservative. Who knows how she would vote given a statewide position in a reliably blue state. But there’s no doubt in my mind that Gillibrand would be a better pick than Caroline Kennedy; after that fiasco, I would welcome this announcement if it does turn out to be true.

UPDATE: Huffington Post confirms it.

UPDATE II: Gillibrand’s Congressional seat–New York’s 20th–is relatively conservative, so there’s a reasonable chance the Democrats will lose it. Remember, a major reason why Gillibrand beat Republican John Sweeney in 2006 was because Sweeney was mired in multiple scandals.

In addition, Gillibrand’s relatively-conservative stands on a number of issues have guaranteed she will face some primary challengers. In fact, Rep. Carolyn McCarthy–who represents the Long Island-based 4th district–has already pledged to challenge Gillibrand in 2010.

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