Serrano, McCarthy say no to Gillibrand challenge

Following Friday’s announcement that Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) isn’t running for Senate, Reps. Jose Serrano (D-N.Y.) and Carolyn McCarthyCarolyn McCarthyLobbying World Lobbying world House Dem says leaders must know when to move on MORE (D-N.Y.) both have signaled they won’t run, either.

Serrano told the New York Daily News on Sunday that he will not pick up where Maloney left off and wage a primary campaign against Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandOvernight Tech: TV box plan faces crucial vote | Trump transition team to meet tech groups | Growing scrutiny of Yahoo security Overnight Finance: McConnell offers 'clean' funding bill | Dems pan proposal | Flint aid, internet measure not included | More heat for Wells Fargo | New concerns on investor visas Senate Dems call for investigation into Wells Fargo's wage practices MORE (D-N.Y.).

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Serrano emphasized that he’s still not happy with Gillibrand’s appointment or the Democratic leadership’s efforts to give her a clear primary field. He said it looks now like she will have just that.

"No, I'm not running," Serrano told the Daily News. "But I was not pleased with the selection, and I'm not pleased with the style and the pressure on Maloney and everyone else to get them out.

"I've been in office 35 years. … I've never seen this type of pressure to get candidates out of the way. The White House, the vice president, the senator (Charles SchumerCharles SchumerElection-year politics: Senate Dems shun GOP vulnerables Democrats press Wells Fargo CEO for more answers on scandal 78 lawmakers vote to sustain Obama veto MORE, D-N.Y.). This was incredible."

Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) was also prepared to run against Gillibrand, but he bowed out reluctantly after pressure from the White House.

It doesn’t look like Maloney’s decision will cause McCarthy to reconsider, either.

McCarthy had said shortly after Gillibrand was appointed that she would run against the senator if nobody else did. When it looked like Maloney was set to run, McCarthy said she would not run.

But even though Maloney’s situation has changed, McCarthy’s spokesman noted Monday that other, lesser-known lawmakers, like Suffolk County legislator Jon Cooper, are weighing primary runs against Gillibrand. In addition, activist Jonathan Tasini is already in the race.

As long as someone else runs, it appears, McCarthy is absolved from needing to make good on her promise.

McCarthy spokesman Ray Zaccaro said the congresswoman “reserves judgment,” but that “she is not running for Senate” and that nothing has changed from her perspective.