Friday, January 23, 2009

NY governor names Congresswoman Kirsten Gillibrand to take up Hillary Clinton's vacant senate seat.

The vacancy occurred because Mrs Clinton was named as President Barack Obama's Secretary of State.

Caroline Kennedy, daughter of former President John F Kennedy, had been a frontrunner for the seat.

She withdrew her name from consideration for the seat on Wednesday, citing "personal reasons".

Ms Kennedy's candidacy had been criticised by some, who expressed concern that she was not experienced enough, and was only being considered because of her family connections.

Gun rights

Ms Gillibrand, a Democrat, represents a conservative congressional district in upstate New York.

Correspondents say her support for gun-owners' rights puts her on the right wing of the party.

She will serve in the senate until 2010, when there will be a special election to fill the seat for the final two years of Mrs Clinton's senate term.

Governor Paterson has the sole authority to fill the seat vacated by Mrs Clinton.