New York: EMILYs List Gets Behind Gillibrand Early
In a move designed to send a message to its donors but also to womens groups, liberal Democrats and potential challengers EMILYs List announced Wednesday that it was endorsing newly appointed Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D) for the 2010 election.
In a statement, Ellen Malcolm, president of the powerhouse fundraising group, called Gillibrand a great advocate for women and families.
The EMILYs List endorsement came just one day after Gillibrand was sworn in. The former upstate Congresswoman was appointed Friday by New York Gov. David Paterson (D) to replace Hillary Rodham Clinton, who is now secretary of State.
Despite the blessing of EMILYs List and Paterson, Clinton and Sen. Charles Schumer (D), Gillibrands appointment has not been universally embraced, and some liberal groups have been particularly critical. Rep. Carolyn McCarthy has threatened to run against Gillibrand in the Democratic primary next year because of Gillibrands support from the National Rifle Association, and a group of Latino state legislators said Tuesday that they would try to recruit a primary challenger because of Gillibrands stances on illegal immigration.
Meanwhile, the liberal Village Voice newspaper continued its assault on Gillibrand this week, offering more accounts of connections between her and prominent New York Republicans such as former Sen. Al DAmato, who appeared at her side last week as Paterson was announcing her appointment. The paper also reported that key donors of Gillibrands made substantial campaign contributions to Paterson as he was weighing Clintons replacement.
The support of EMILYs List will help deflect some of the criticism and boost Gillibrands fundraising.