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Maloney abandons plans to challenge Gillibrand

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U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Astoria) announced Friday that she will not launch a campaign against U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), eliminating a major obstacle to the upstate Democratic senator’s spot on the 2010 ballot.

“These are unique times with unparalleled challenges and running for the Senate is a full-time job,” Maloney said in a statement. “Giving up for a critical period of time the things I do best — passing legislation, working on the issues, serving New Yorkers — would put politics before policy for the next year and a half.”

Gillibrand, who was appointed in December by Gov. David Paterson to replace Hillary Clinton, was widely regarded as the preferred candidate of the Democratic organization.

Maloney, who was first elected in 1992 and holds several leadership positions in the House of Representatives including chair of the Joint Economic Committee, said she would instead focus her energy on health care reform, reforming the financial system and championing clean energy sources.

The congresswoman earned praise from U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), who has been a strong supporter of Gillibrand, for withdrawing her bid.

“We all appreciate how difficult a decision this was for Congresswoman Maloney,” he said in a statement. “She is on a very fast and sharp trajectory in the House.”

Posted 6:32 pm, October 10, 2011
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