(CNN) - Albany-born Kirsten Gillibrand currently represents New York's conservative 20th congressional district. She's a member of the Blue Dog Coalition, a group of fiscally conservative congressional Democrats.
Gillibrand is a supporter of gun rights, and has been endorsed in her past Congressional runs by the National Rifle Association. She also supports an extension of the Bush tax cuts. The 42 -year-old Catholic congresswoman was an attorney before entering politics.
Her upstate district starts in Dutchess county, at the northern fringe of the New York City suburbs, and shoots straight up the eastern side of the Hudson River, including Columbia and Rensselaer (just east of Albany) counties. It also includes Greene County, just west of the Hudson River in the northern Catskill region, and Delaware County, which is even further to the west.
The 20th congressional district also includes Saratoga, Washington and Warren counties in the northern part of the state.
Gillibrand's seat was held by four-term Republican Rep. John Sweeney, and was considered safe for the GOP when she jumped into the race in 2006. Gillibrand ended up winning a brutal contest by a 53 to 47 percent margin. She was overwhelmingly re-elected this past November, 62 percent to 38 percent.
NEW YORK (CNN) - New York Gov. David Paterson has chosen Democratic Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand to fill the senate seat vacated by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, according to sources close to the decision.
Gillibrand, 42, represents New York's traditionally Republican 20th district. She is a member of the Blue Dog Coalition, a group of congressional Democrats who hold more conservative views than their liberal Democratic counterparts. She is an outspoken advocate for gun rights, and she supports an extension of the Bush tax cuts.
Caroline Kennedy, seen as a favorite to fill the vacant seat, withdrew her name from consideration Wednesday, citing personal reasons.
(CNN) - Could Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin be coming to a bookstore or television near you?
Palin has reportedly hired a powerful Washington, DC attorney who has successfully landed lucrative media deals for other political rock stars, a signal the former Republican vice presidential candidate may be interested in further expanding her media exposure in the coming months.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Palin has secured the services of Robert Barnett, the Washington lawyer who negotiated highly profitable book deals for Bill and Hillary Clinton. (Bill Clinton was paid $10 million by Alfred A. Knopf publishing to write his memoirs and Hillary Clinton garnered $8 million by Simon & Schuster to write hers.)
Barnett has also negotiated book deals for President Obama and Obama campaign manager David Plouffe, and has landed lucrative television contracts for many high-profile network anchors and correspondents.
Barnett would not confirm or deny that he is now working for Palin. Palin's office did not respond to a request for comment.
Several publishers have said Palin could fetch up to $7 million to write a book about her unlikely VP bid, and could rake in millions more as a television host after her gubernatorial term ends in 2010.
But should Palin decide on a presidential run, federal election regulations would almost certainly keep her from hosting a television show.
CNN: McCain: Closing Guantanamo Bay is the easy part
President Obama is facing great challenges as he takes office and may have made a hasty decision to close Guantanamo Bay without addressing all of the repercussions, Sen. John McCain told CNN's Larry King Thursday night.
CNN: George Mitchell named special envoy for the Middle East
Former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell was named special envoy for the Middle East during an event at the State Department on Thursday afternoon. But the sleepy halls of the department's Foggy Bottom headquarters woke up and began buzzing with excitement this week, anticipating Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's arrival.
CNN: Obama gives military's interrogation rules to CIA
With the signing of an executive order Thursday, President Obama put the U.S. military and CIA on the same page when it comes to interrogating prisoners captured in the war on terrorism.
CNN: Questions surround Obama nominee's contractor ties
The head of the Senate Armed Services committee said Thursday that he needed more information on how the nominee for deputy secretary of defense would handle conflicts of interests in his Pentagon post.
CNN: Reporter's notebook: Clinton gets rock-star welcome
The State Department might have been slow the past few months, as the Bush administration wound down and everyone focused on the presidential campaign.
CNN: Gibbs meets the press, reveals daily Obama economy briefing
In his first official briefing for journalists since the inauguration, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Thursday that President Obama is now receiving a daily economic briefing, similar to the daily intelligence briefing presidents have received for decades.