Paterson taps Gillibrand for vacant Senate seat

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Gov. David Paterson announced Friday that he has selected U.S. Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated by now-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

"For many in New York state, this is the first time you'veheard my name and you don't know much about me," Gillibrand saidshortly after Gov. Paterson made the announcement in Albany. "Over the next two years, you will get to know me. And, more importantly, I will get to know you."Gillibrand, 42, represents the 20th Congressional District in upstate New York. She defeated four-term Republican incumbent John E. Sweeney in 2006 and won re-election last year by a comfortable margin against Sandy Treadwell, the wealthy General Electric heir.

During her tenure in Congress, Gillibrand served on the House Armed Services Committee and Agriculture Committee. On the Armed Services Committee, she served on the Terrorism, Unconventional Threats and Capabilities subcommittee and the Seapower subcommittee.

Gillibrand has experience in Washington, having served under former President Bill Clinton as an official in the Housing and Urban Development Department. Gov. Paterson has said one of the major tasks facing the new senator will be to obtain more federal stimulus money for New York. However, she did vote against the $700 billion Wall Street bailout bill last year.

Caroline Kennedy, thought to be a front-runner for the position along with Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, withdrew her name early Thursday morning, citing personal reasons.

The appointment of Gillibrand, 42, will last until 2010 when a special election will be held for the final two years of Clinton?s term.

Congresswoman Kirsten Gillibrand

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