Paterson Makes Gillibrand Senate Pick Official

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January 23, 2009 7:44 a.m.
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New York Gov. David Paterson just held his press conference in Albany to announce the appointment of upstate Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand to the United States Senate seat formerly held by Hillary Clinton.

Paterson started off the speech as he often does, telling an amusing anecdote about how he first met Gillibrand at the state Capitol when he was Lt. Governor, only to end up being in the middle of the 2003 Northeastern blackout. He then touted Gillibrand’s work on government reform and economic issues, and for her work on the Armed Services and Agriculture committees.

In her acceptance speech, Gillibrand seemed to back away a bit from her previous “A” rating from the National Rifle Association — which had led Rep. Carolyn McCarthy to openly threaten a Democratic primary challenge — by pledging to work with McCarthy on a bill to require better background checks to keep guns out of criminals’ hands.

Overall, Gillibrand sought to reach out from her relatively obscure upstate district to the rest of the electorate: “Over the next two years you will get to know me, but much more importantly I will get to know you.”

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