Hillary's Seat Ignites Cuomo, Kennedy Rivalry

Messy war looms over Senate vacancy between powerhouse families
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 8, 2008 3:41 AM CST
Hillary's Seat Ignites Cuomo, Kennedy Rivalry
Andrew Cuomo, left, is considered a frontrunner for Clinton's senate seat.   (AP Photo/David Karp)

(Newser) – The jockeying for the New York Senate seat vacated by Secretary of State-designate Hillary Clinton is aggravating long-simmering tensions between Democratic powerhouse families the Kennedys and the Cuomos, reports the New York Daily News. Ted Kennedy is already lobbying for niece Caroline to step into the vacancy. But New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo—son of three-term state governor Mario Cuomo—believes he's the best man for the spot, and is considered the frontrunner.

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Andrew Cuomo was married to Caroline's cousin Kerry until an acrimonious divorce in 2003; the Kennedys accused him of feeding hurtful information about Kerry to the press. The replacement decision will be made by New York Gov. David Paterson, who has already received a letter from Sen. Kennedy touting Caroline, who has never held public office. "It's awkward," said a top Democrat. "There could be a serious behind-the-scenes war with lots of personal baggage behind it." (Read more Andrew Cuomo stories.)

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