Women’s Groups Want Maloney to Replace Clinton in Senate

Posted December 4, 2008 at 1:44pm

Even though several women have been mentioned as possible replacements for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) when Clinton becomes secretary of State, two prominent women’s groups on Thursday urged New York Gov. David Paterson (D) to appoint Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) to the Senate when there is a vacancy.

In a joint statement, the Feminist Majority Political Action Committee and the National Organization for Women Political Action Committee called Maloney an innovative problem-solver who is best equipped to follow in Clinton’s footsteps.

“I have worked with many legislators over the course of several decades. Congresswoman Maloney gets things done whether in the majority or the minority” said Eleanor Smeal, Feminist Majority president. “She is an effective legislator who never takes no for an answer when it comes to fighting for women of the world or the citizens of New York.”

The two groups noted that Clinton’s departure to Foggy Bottom would leave the Senate with only 15 female Members and suggested that Paterson had an obligation to appoint a woman to the Senate.

“Sen. Hillary Clinton leaves big shoes to fill, and Carolyn Maloney has what it takes,” said Kim Gandy, chairwoman of the NOW PAC.

By endorsing Maloney, the two groups are spurning other women who have been mentioned as possible Senate appointees. That list includes Reps. Kirsten Gillibrand (D) and Nydia Velázquez (D), attorney Leecia Eve, a former Senate counsel to Clinton, and Caroline Kennedy, daughter of the late President John F. Kennedy.

Paterson has kept his thinking on the Senate vacancy largely to himself, though he said he won’t make an appointment until Clinton is confirmed as secretary of State.

Other potential contenders are thought to include Reps. Brian Higgins (D) and Steve Israel (D), state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo (D), Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown (D) and Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi (D).