Even more big primary news today–NY Rep. Carolyn Maloney will mount a primary challenge against Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who was appointed by the very unpopular Governor Paterson to replace Hillary Clinton:
An adviser to Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) confirmed Wednesday that the congresswoman will enter the state’s Senate primary against appointed Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.).
Paul Blank, who works with Democratic consultant Joe Trippi’s firm, said Maloney is officially in the race. Blank is set to serve as a top adviser for her Senate campaign.
“Congresswoman Maloney has made her decision,” Blank said. “She believes times are too tough and our challenges too important for politics as usual.
He added: “Congresswoman Maloney is putting together a campaign team and will make her announcement in two weeks.”
It might not matter, though, as the GOP doesn’t appear close to landing a big-name candidate. Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.) said in recent days that he is leaning against running now that he has landed a spot on the House Intelligence Committee. Former Gov. George Pataki (R) is also weighing a run but is not expected to make a bid. A new Marist poll, coincidentally released Wednesday, showed Maloney leading Gillibrand within the margin of error, 38-37. Gillibrand is still unknown to about one-third of voters.
Maloney’s strength isn’t surprising–she was widely rumored to be eying a Senate run in 2000 before Clinton stepped in, and the district she represents is more populous than Gillibrand’s upstate district was; she has also been serving in Congress since 1993 (as opposed to Gillibrand, who took her seat in 2007).
I don’t have strong opinions on either Gillibrand or Maloney, but considering the GOP’s recruiting failure I don’t see how a primary will hurt–putting pressure on our elected officials to represent their people better is never a bad thing.