Another Dem drops Gillibrand challenge

Another Democratic challenger to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) dropped out of the race on Tuesday, further clearing the field for the new senator as she heads into her first reelection bid.

In a statement, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, who had formed an exploratory committee, said he will focus on his reelection campaign instead of pursuing the Senate.

Stringer's announcement comes four days after Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) also announced that he won't run against Gillibrand.

Israel noted that President Barack Obama urged him to clear the Democratic primary for Gillibrand, something Stringer also noted in his statement.

"In light of President Obama's clear desire to avoid a Democratic primary in New York state, I have decided to focus on my re-election race for Manhattan Borough President and to suspend my exploratory committee and fund-raising efforts for the 2010 Senate race," Stringer said.

The Hill reported Tuesday that Obama and, in particular, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) have gone on the offensive to try to prevent a messy Democratic Senate primary next year.

Other New York Democratic representatives are looking at the race. Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), in particular, is reportedly telling people that she will run.

Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.) has also indicated she is considering at the race.

jeremy.jacobs@thehill.com