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Senate seat goes to Kirsten Gillibrand

By Philip Anselmo

Gov. David Paterson has tapped Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand, from Hudson, to fill the junior Senator seat vacated by Hillary Clinton, who has taken the post of Secretary of State in the new administration of President Barack Obama. Buffalo News reporter Tom Precious has all the details this morning. Precious calls Gillibrand "a moderate beginning her second term in the House." Gillibrand's office did not return calls for comment from the Buffalo office. Likely, she's a little busy today.

From Gillibrand's Web site:

In her first term in office, Congresswoman Gillibrand established herself as an independent leader in Congress. She was the lead sponsor of legislation that would implement the bipartisan 9/11 Commission Recommendations, which will help protect our borders and keep America safe. She has been an advocate for decreased federal spending, and introduced legislation that would require the federal government – just as all New York families do - to balance their budget every year. Finally, she has made tax cuts for Upstate and North Country families, one of her highest priorities. She has authored legislation that would double the tax credit for child care expenses and make up to $10,000 in college tuition tax deductible.

Precious reports that Gillibrand was getting the push from both Democrats and Republicans among her constituency, as well as from Sen. Chuck Schumer.

Gillibrand is a member of the conservative Blue Dog coalition in the House. She is known as “Little Hillary” — a nickname conferred by critics who claim she fancies herself the heir to Clinton’s job.

In recent days, gun-control advocates have come out against her because of her opposition to tougher gun laws.

Gillibrand, who also opposed the $700 million bailout of the financial industry, comes from a politically connected Albany family. Her father, Douglas Rutnick, was a lobbyist.

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