Kirsten Gillibrand and the GOP Comeback
New York Republicans are salivating over the House seat that Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) is leaving behind to take an appointment as Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s replacement in the Senate.
The Albany Times Union reports on six possible Republican candidates: Assembly Minority Leader Jim Tedisco, 2006 gubernatorial candidate John Faso, 2008 Gillibrand opponent Sandy Treadwell, 2008 candidate Dick Wager (who lost to Treadwell in a primary), and State Sens. Betty Little and Roy McDonald. For Democrats, the possible candidates include Coxsackie Town Supervisor Alex Betke, Saratoga County Democratic Chairman Larry Bulman, and former Gillibrand staffer Darius Shahinfar.
In other words, the Republicans have a much deeper bench in this Hudson Valley district. Gillibrand was the first Democrat to win here since the 1970s.
The plus for Democrats is that the district has been slowly trending their way. President George W. Bush carried the district (with a 9/11 sympathy boost) by 8 points over John Kerry, but President Barack Obama carried the district over Sen. John McCain, winning eight of 10 counties.