ALBANY-Although receiving only a small fraction of the recent media buzz, Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-Greenport) has been selected by Governor David Paterson to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated upon Hillary Clinton's appointment as Secretary of State within the Obama Administration.
Gillibrand has just begun her second term in congress and has sky-rocketed up the political hierarchy with an assertive agenda that has focused on veteran's issues and high-tech development in the Upstate New York region.
"It is such an honor to even be considered for the seat," Gillibrand said in a recent interview. "If we continue with progressive policy focused on eco-friendly jobs, economic growth in the Adirondacks will follow."
In a highly competitive contest for the senate seat which has been held historically by political icons like Robert Kennedy and Hillary Clinton, Paterson maintained a thorough selection process.
"The selection was not based on gender or geographic location," Paterson said during the appointment announcement Friday. "Kirsten immediately introduced aggressive legislation regarding child tax credits and veteran health care early in her first term."
Although Paterson's claim that geographic location was a non-factor, the interplay between the numerous cultural regions of New York State was frequently referenced by Gillibrand throughout her acceptance speech.
"From the dairy farmers in the western part of the state to the stock brokers in New York City--I want to know you all," she said.
Gillibrand said that she will continue to pursue funding for high speed light rail development in the Upstate region.
"People need to get to work and up here it often requires long drives," Gillibrand said in an interview last month.
Her plan for an Upstate light rail triangular corridor was one of her focuses as she accepted the gubernatorial appointment.
She noted the innate cultural divergence that is present within a state comprised of a huge metropolis and a large rural Upstate region.