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New York assembly leader would support Kennedy

Fri., Jan. 2, 2009

ALBANY, N.Y. – Despite early reservations, New York state’s most powerful legislator says he’ll support Caroline Kennedy for the U.S. Senate if the governor names her to the seat expected to be vacated by Hillary Rodham Clinton.

State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver told the New York Post he’s reconsidering Kennedy because he feels Gov. David Paterson will pick her to replace Clinton, President-elect Barack Obama’s choice as secretary of state.

If she is Paterson’s choice, the Democratic lawmaker said he will “work strenuously for her election,” the Post reported Thursday.

Two people close to Paterson told the Associated Press they believe the daughter of the late President John F. Kennedy will be Paterson’s choice. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to speak on the matter.

But Paterson cautioned Thursday that his search was ongoing.

“It ain’t nothin’ till I calls it,” he said at an executive mansion open house, recalling legendary baseball umpire Bill Klem.

“Pass that along to any of these excited people who think they’re going to influence me,” Paterson said, according to the New York Times.

Kennedy’s supporters include New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg who is another important ally for Paterson.

Silver had previously suggested that Bloomberg and his supporters had hijacked the process for political gain. Many Kennedy advisers have ties to Bloomberg.

Paterson has sole authority to name someone to the Senate seat for the next two years.


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