January 23rd, 2009
08:00 AM ET
9 years ago

Who is Kirsten Gillibrand?

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/01/23/clinton.replacement/art.gillibrand.seat.gov.jpg caption=" Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand has been picked to succeed Hillary Clinton as U.S. Senator from New York, sources say."](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.

Filed under: Kirsten Gillibrand
soundoff (145 Responses)
  1. Jen in Syracuse

    Don't know her, I'm a far lefty, but it sounds as if the Gov made a good choice. Hate to say it but it's time to meet in the middle if we're to get anything done in this country. And I understand the extra taxes- yes we got screwed by Wall St but the money has to come from somewhere or much needed programs will be cut even more. Hopefully we'll get more from the federal government. But I must say- I'm a bit disappointed in some of the comments about her looks. Yes, she's beautiful, but if she was a less attractive woman would you be so positive about her appointment?

    January 23, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  2. Tom in Delaware

    To Farrell, Houston, Tx:

    You're quite perceptive...it's a shame you can't spell sometime as simple a the word 'trailer' though...kinda makes you look like a buffoon.

    January 23, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  3. Dean

    I apologize for my earlier post. This article is very misleading as to what type of Democrat Sen. Gillibrand appears to be. She is very good on most issues and her pro-gun stance and her support for the Bush tax cuts seem to be the only areas of difference between her and her new colleagues.

    While that will sadden many Republicans, I think it is still mostly about what Paterson needed to do to help his re-election. Fortunately, it may also turn out to be a good pick at the same time.

    January 23, 2009 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  4. James, Saint Louis MO

    Much better choice than Princess Caroline!

    January 23, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  5. Jeff

    I'm sure Hillary is thrilled with her replacement.

    January 23, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  6. Shari, NY

    I know nothing of her but I wish her well!

    January 23, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  7. Fred C Dobbs

    Excellent choice.

    January 23, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  8. Shari, NY

    One more thing, if Chuck Schumer endorses her she must be worth her salt (and I truly hope so). Chuck Schumer is one of the best things that could happen to NY.

    January 23, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  9. nom deplume, esq.

    Does it matter who she is? Her job is to do what Reid and Pelosi tell her to do.

    January 23, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |


    She needs a tan. Seriously.

    January 23, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  11. Achai Kamau

    I'll have to agree with "Meh"; I have serious questions about any politician who perceives value in continuing the Bush tax cuts. Even Kevin Phillips, a longtime conservative, condemned the cuts as both irresponsible and skewed in favor of upper-income earners. There's nothing "fiscally conservative" about slashing revenues while increasing spending, which was effectively Bush's domestic doctrine. If we want to fight wars, repair infrastructure, and fund schools, we must be willing to pay for these services – I've heard that the Chinese are sick of lending to our bankrupt government.

    January 23, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  12. jm

    Well, as a Republican who knows little about Ms. Gillibrand, I have to say that I have a new found respect for Gov. Paterson. He turned down a Kennedy, as a Democrat, when the Democratic President they endorsed just got elected. And, Gov. Paterson wasn't even elected into his position, so we don't know what will play out when he runs for retention. However, the fact that he really seems to have made an intelligent and nonbiased decision (regardless of Ms. Gillibrand's politics) is commendable. I applaud him – (plus I love anyone who knocks the Kennedys off their undeserved pedestal of American royalty).

    January 23, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  13. cynthia

    It is none of anyone's business but the people of New York State who their Senators are. Congresswoman Gillibrand is not running on a national ticket, merely being asked to represent the people of New York State in the Senate for the next two years. I am a New York City resident who thinks that Upstate New York has a right to representation. I do not think the Congresswoman's appointment is an affront to Secretary Clinton (as was stated here).

    However, to Ravi in MO (Missouri?). Perhaps the "megacities are allowed to dominate their own state" because that's where most of the people in the state are - and the megacities pay to bills for the rest of the state.

    January 23, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  14. jacq

    Great pick

    January 23, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  15. j

    I like that she's a fiscal conservative but I'd also like to know her standing on civil rights, liberties, & women's issues as well as the environment.

    January 23, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  16. Pinckney

    Congratulations Mrs. Gillibrand. If I lived in NY I would certainly vote for you.

    January 23, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  17. Chan Nguyen

    I wish you to be a United States President for 2012.

    January 23, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  18. mike k.

    Great choice, even though NY is mostly Republican. (except NY City, which doesn't represent the rest of the state) She appears to be someone who will cross party lines when the best interest of our country comes first.

    January 23, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  19. Just Sayin...

    What an AWFUL pick. Based on what she believes she is NOTHING like Clinton. Way to go paterson...you blew it!

    January 23, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  20. Sue NY

    Looks like Gov. Patterson just efffectively dissed Hilary's constituents.
    I wonder how he'll do in the next gubernatorial election.
    He was PAID!!!!

    January 23, 2009 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
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