Kennedy withdraws bid for Senate

Thursday, January 22, 2009

ALBANY, N.Y. -- Published reports say Caroline Kennedy is withdrawing from her effort to join the U.S. Senate.

The New York Times and New York Post reported Wednesday that Kennedy has ended her monthlong bid to succeed Hillary Rodham Clinton, who was confirmed as secretary of state.

The move appears to clear the way for several other candidates including Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, who Gov. David Paterson confirmed Tuesday is under consideration. Cuomo surpassed Kennedy in statewide polls last week as the favorite of New Yorkers who were surveyed.

Paterson has said he hopes to make an appointment by this weekend.

Other contenders include Reps. Carolyn Maloney of New York City and Steve Israel of Long Island, along with a strong upstate candidate, Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand, whose district runs along the Hudson Valley. Other hopefuls among the 10 or 20 Paterson said were under consideration include Reps. Jerrold Nadler and Brian Higgins and Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown.

The reports came hours after Maloney, some Democrats' top choice, was named chairwoman of the Joint Economic Committee in Congress. That's a significant move because Paterson had made it clear the next senator's top job should be to help land a federal stimulus package to help New York out of its budget crisis.

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