Gillibrand Named to Senate
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 23, 2009 12:14 PM CST

(Newser) – David Paterson named Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand as Hillary Clinton’s replacement today, vaulting the little-known Democrat onto the national stage and into a post once thought reserved for Caroline Kennedy, the Times Union reports. “I believe I have found the best candidate,” said Paterson, insisting that the Albany-area congresswoman's gender and geography—she’ll be the first senator from upstate New York in 38 years—played no role in the choice.

Gillibrand for her part heaped praise on Clinton, saying, “I aspire to follow in her footsteps, knowing her shoes I can only hope to fill.” She tried to deflect criticism that she’s too conservative—she supports both gun rights and a Bush tax cut extension—saying she’d represent the “diverse views” of the state.