The Gillibrand appointment will probably have a small direct impact on the 29th District. Gillibrand and Massa serve on the same committees (Agriculture and Armed Services). As the two New York members on Agriculture, they co-ordinated subcommittee picks to cover the major interests of upstate, so her move might have a slight effect on legislation originating from that committee.

Overall, however, the Gillibrand pick is good for upstate Democrats. By all accounts, she's well-qualified, smart and a hard worker. She understands the issues of our region, and, as a newcomer to New York politics, she's not tied in to any machine or interest group. She knows how to raise money and campaign hard. Caroline Kennedy would have been a liability in 2010 -- Gillibrand will be an asset.


Seems to me that Governor Patterson is really trying hard to reach out to the right. Gillibrand may change once in office, but for now she is the best hope any conservative could have to fill the HRC seat.

I often vacation in the Berkshires and surrounding areas and actually met her at the 2006 Columbia County Fair. Very nice person, but what politician isn't in public?

Let's hope she can do more for our upstate area than Chuckie or HRC have done.

I agree - it seems like a pick calculated to please upstate, and I hope she comes through for this area.

For starters, she could adopt Chuck Schumer's policy of visiting every county - all 62 of them - in the state at least once a year.

Given that NY has as the top state-wide officials :
a Governor from New York City
an Assembly Majority Leader from New York City
a State Senate Majority Leader from New York City
a Senior United States Senator from New York City
a State Attorney General from New York City
a State Comptroller from Nassau County, which is almost New York City

I'm registered as unaffiliated/Independent. However, if Govenor Patterson had selected yet another politician from New York City to fill the vacant US Senate seat for New York, I was strongly considering changing my registration to Republican, if nothing more than a protest vote.

It's about time that the rest of New York State gets some representation!!!

I'll bet that Gillibrand does visit every county. She's been a very hard worker as a Representative, and she's also had some imaginative outreach: she's done things like holding constituent meetings where constituents are -- such as in the parking lots of grocery stores.

Yeah, there's a bunch of hand-wringing and tsk-tsking about her voting record, which is not to the taste of a number of NYC-area Democrats.

She represented a relatively conservative district, and her positions reflected that. Now she's representing the whole state, so I assume her positions will change a bit. She already changed a bit on gay marriage. I suppose she'll do the same on gun control.

On the personal stuff, the fact that she was called "Tracy Flick" by the New York delegation is something in her favor, in my book. Most of that delegation doesn't know what it means to work hard to win an election, or to work hard in office, and she's done both. I smell sour grapes.

NRA support is a biggy. She should do well in the Southern Tier. I hope that she does well enough in her two years to fend off the inevitable challenger from down state.

I like the way she counter-balances Schumer. I still say that though he has his faults, he is a.) a considerable improvement over his predecessor b.) not a little responsible for the current makeup of congress. His nearsightedness re the bankers and brokers was unfortunate but forgivable, in that few disagreed with the tenet that what's good for the market is good for New York State. That state of affairs seems to be in the process of readjustment.

Maybe I'm brainwashed by talking to some over-confident Democrats, but those Democrats seem to think that any competent candidate would win in '10, because of the Democratic registration advantage in NYS. Gillibrand should win it running away. (I also have to chuckle at the notion that Carolyn McCarthy would want to challenge her or (even more far-fetched) could beat her in a primary. Only weak, lazy incumbents get beat in primaries, and Gillibrand has been a hard-working MoC.)

I agree on Schumer. It's hard to get excited about the guy, but we've had a hell of a lot worse. Anyone who raises as much money as he has is going to be far too beholden to some questionable interests.

How does Gillibrand's replacement get chosen?

It's a special election. Those are always hard to call, and her district went for Bush in '00 and '04, so the Republicans might pick up a seat.