August 7th, 2009
02:53 PM ET
5 years ago

Maloney abandons plans for Senate bid

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Rep. Carolyn Maloney is giving up her bid for the U.S. Senate. The congresswoman from New York City announced Friday she would not challenge the state's junior senator, fellow Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand.

"These are unique times with unparalleled challenges and running for the Senate is a full time job. Giving up for a critical period of time, the things I do best - passing legislation, working on the issues, serving New Yorkers would put politics before policy for the next year and a half," Maloney said in a statement.

Gillibrand, a former congresswoman from upstate New York, was named by Gov. David Paterson in January to succeed Hillary Clinton, who stepped down to become secretary of state.

The White House, hoping to prevent a primary fight next year, tried to clear the field for Gillibrand, who will run in 2010 to fill the final two years of Clinton's term. Steve Israel, another congressman from New York who was considering a run against Gillibrand, decided against such a bid after lobbying by the White House.

It was a different story with Maloney, who earlier this summer was leaning heavily towards challeging Gillibrand. She hired staffers and advisers, and appeared close to formally announcing her bid.

Maloney's strategy was to portray Gillibrand as too moderate to conservative for more liberal New York voters on key issues such as gun control and immigration. A Quinnipiac University survey conducted earlier this summer indicated that Gillibrand slightly trailed Maloney in a hypothetical Democratic primary matchup.

But last month Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, the top Democrat in the Senate, backed Gillibrand. Another incident last month was also damaging to the congresswoman's chances: Maloney had to apologize for using a racial epithet in an interview, in recounting comments in a phone call she had received. Maloney used the full racial slur in an interview with the Web site City Hall while taking aim at Gillibrand's record.

Maloney said her move to give up a Senate bid won't affect her efforts in the House of Representatives.

"I make this decision, not because I fear a tough political fight, but because I love one. In this Congress, we have a once in a lifetime opportunity to enact meaningful health care reform, restore the trust and confidence in our financial systems, and take a step toward a clean energy future," said Maloney.

New York's senior senator praised Maloney.

"We all appreciate how difficult a decision this was for Congresswoman Maloney. She is on a very fast and sharp trajectory in the House, where she already chairs the Joint Economic Committee," said Senator Chuck Schumer, in a statement.

Rep. Maloney quits quest for U.S. Senate seat

Statement from Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney

In seriously assessing a Senate Campaign, I have been inspired by all the calls of support I have received from a broad array of people from all over the state and encouraged by my strong showing in the polls.

However, these are unique times with unparalleled challenges and running for the Senate is a full time job. Giving up for a critical period of time, the things I do best-passing legislation, working on the issues, serving New Yorkers would put politics before policy for the next year and a half.

Working this past week to provide meaningful health care reform and to advance important legislation to help those who lost their health because of 9-11 attacks, which would bring more than $11 billion to the city of New York, brought into sharp focus the importance of the work we are doing in Congress and of what is at stake for the nation.

The right decision for me and the people I represent is to stay in the House of Representatives and use the leadership positions I hold, including Chair of the Joint Economic Committee, to get things done,

I make this decision, not because I fear a tough political fight, but because I love one. In this Congress, we have a once in a lifetime opportunity to enact meaningful health care reform, restore the trust and confidence in our financial systems, and take a step toward a clean energy future.

We can do all this and more, but not without a mighty effort that deserves all my focus and all my energy. I welcome the challenge of shaping those bills and passing those reforms.

I look forward to working with Senators Schumer and Gillibrand and the NY delegation on behalf of our constituents, the State of New York and the American people.

I thank my family, friends and supporters for their confidence in me throughout this process. I may not be entering the race – but I will never leave the fight.


Filed under: Carolyn Maloney
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. yuri

    So there won't be no cat fight. Is that what you are saying?

    August 7, 2009 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  2. Zero.

    People seem to be getting confused in the word: Revolution...

    It is a circular-movement, Not! Barack Obama's "movement". Which is in a reverse-mode.. Revolution a thousand year old.

    August 7, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  3. Mississippi Mike

    In other words, she figured out she didn't have a shot. Why can't people just tell the truth?

    August 7, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  4. I can see Canada from my house!

    @Zero:

    The only thing that is in reverse mode is country is the GOP, a group of moral paupers who are incapable of presenting anything close to a forward-looking strategy.

    @ Mississippi Mike:

    You seem disappointed.

    August 7, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  5. John, Brooklyn, New York

    Bad, bad, bad move by Maloney.

    What most people don't realize is that, despite the hand wringing that goes on in New York state every election cycle (by both the GOP and Dems) about "selling" their candidates to upstate....upstate candidates simply have a horrible track record of getting elected (or even getting re-elected after being appointed – as is the case with Gillibrand).

    NOT ONE candidate from OUTSIDE OF NYC has won a SINGLE governor's race OR a SINGLE senate race SINCE 1964!!!!! Republican or Democrat – each and every governor or senator elected by the state of NY for more than 4 decades have been from New York City!

    Carolyn Maloney blew it. She was BOTH from New York City AND she was ahead in the primary polls when matched against Gillibrand.

    Don't be surprised if the GOP picks up a surprise senate seat from one of the bluest states in the country in 2010. Why? Because Gillibrand will be the Democratic nominee.

    August 7, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  6. CAL

    @ZERO

    your comment, ???????????????????? how stupid.

    August 7, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  7. Steve (the real one)

    Hey wait a minute! isn't she a democrat and didn't she spout off racist terminolgy not too long ago? Doesn't that make her a racist? A racist dem! Go figure!, and to think the lefties tried to get us all to believe racists only existed in the GOP! How's that crow tasting right about now lefties??

    August 7, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  8. Lauren

    Her statement is eloquent, but I think she decided not to run because she knew she couldn't win. The handwriting was on the wall

    August 7, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  9. Larry

    With all the bull s*** politics that go on in this country it's absolutely amazing that anything meaningful ever gets done.

    August 7, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  10. Honest AB

    Another bites the dust!!

    August 7, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  11. Michael

    John in Brooklyn, have you forgotten about a former Governor of ours named George Pataki. He's not from NYC and he won the Governor ship in '94, '98 and '02, which, last I checked, all came after '64. There is no serious GOP candidate to challenge Kirsten since both Pataki and Pete King have backed away from the idea. Kirsten WILL win in 2010.

    August 7, 2009 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  12. david

    she lost any chance when she reportedly used the "N" word then offered a really lame, lame excuse. the only ones that can use the "N" word, and get away with it these days, are members of the racial group that the word has been used to describe by everyone in the past. privately many people of all races still use the word but publicly, not.

    August 7, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  13. JK Ashburn, VA

    She discovered she couldn't afford the maintenance on those fake eye lashes during a statewide Senate race. Man, have you seen those things? They're so big, Senator Carl Levin could use them for his massive comb over. Or, they could be used for street sweeping.

    August 7, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  14. Michael from Brooklyn

    I will not vote for Gillibrand, and I'm sorry that Maloney backed off of her run. I only hope that some Democrat steps up and allows the people to decide who are candidate will be.

    August 7, 2009 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  15. Michael from Brooklyn

    Oops...typo:

    ....who our candidate will be.

    Sorry about that!

    August 7, 2009 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  16. Ross, Chautauqua, NY

    An unfortunate move. Now we're stuck with Gillibrand who is unfit and unqualified to hold the seat of Robert Kennedy, Charles Goodell, Daniel Patrick Moynihan and Hillary Clinton. This Democrat hasn't voted for a Republican since 1970, but I'll vote for anyone running against Gillibrand.

    August 7, 2009 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  17. Peter (CA)

    Why does Gillibrand cause consternation among my fellow Democrats?
    I know she is more moderate than say Hillary or Moynihan but the White House seems happy with her.
    Frankly, I think Peter King was probably the GOP's best shot but since he said he isn't running, are there any truly viable candidates?

    August 7, 2009 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  18. Willy Brown

    Who cares. Another Obummer lap dog.

    August 7, 2009 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |