Israel ‘open' to backing Gillibrand foe

Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.), who bowed out of a primary challenge against Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) at the direct behest of President Barack Obama, told an Albany TV station Wednesday that he hasn’t ruled out backing either Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) or Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.), both of whom are mulling over runs against Gillibrand.

“Carolyn Maloney and I talked extensively today, and we talked yesterday,” Israel told Capitol 9 News. “I have not discouraged her from running. ... I’m absolutely open to considering her or any other candidates that may emerge.”

“I understand someone can be appointed to the Senate, but that doesn’t mean someone has been anointed to the Senate,” added Israel.

Maloney, who is well-funded and has the tacit encouragement of many other delegation members, is expected to make an announcement soon. She’s reportedly hired a consultant to former Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Josh Isay, who was also a onetime adviser to Caroline Kennedy.

Israel, who helped recruit newly elected Rep. Scott Murphy (D-N.Y.) in Gillibrand’s former congressional district, was recently tapped by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee to find a Democratic candidate to run for Republican Rep. John McHugh’s soon-to-be-vacated upstate New York House seat.

Copyright POLIT - Politico
Contact Us