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Maloney Won’t Challenge Gillibrand

Updated: 2:10 p.m.Rep. Carolyn Maloney announced Friday that she has decided not to challenge Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand in next year’s Democratic primary for the New York Senate seat.Maloney had been gearing up to challenge Gillibrand, who was appointed earlier this year to the Senate. The nine-term Congresswoman had hired consultants and had stepped up her fundraising efforts in recent months in preparation for a statewide bid.But ultimately, Maloney said she determined that a Senate bid “would put politics before policy for the next year and a half.—According to the New York Times, which first reported the decision Friday, Maloney didn’t want to give up her seniority in the House to gamble on the primary challenge. “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,— Maloney said in a statement. “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.—Gillibrand has secured the backing of much of the party’s Washington, D.C., establishment, including the White House and the majority of the Democrats in the Empire State’s Congressional delegation. Among her key backers is Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.).The White House intervened earlier this year to persuade Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) not to run against Gillibrand.While Gillibrand is still likely to face some sort of primary next year, it appears increasingly likely that she will not have an expensive and nasty fight that party leaders had once feared. Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman Bob Menendez (N.J.) released a statement praising Maloney’s move. “Congresswoman Maloney is a terrific member of Congress, and her constituents ought to be proud that she will continue to be their voice in Washington,— Menendez said. “She came to the right decision on this and it means New Yorkers will continue to have a powerhouse delegation in Congress. In just a short time, Senator Gillibrand has already proven she fits the mold of strong New York leaders, working day and night to represent New Yorkers in Washington.—

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