By Reid Wilson - 03/16/09 02:28 PM EDT
A group of 10 House Democrats has warned the New York Democratic Party chairwoman to hold off sending money to Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandMoving beyond minimal: Fighting for paid family and medical leave McAuliffe: I wouldn't want a 'caretaker' in Kaine's Senate seat Tim Kaine backs call to boost funding for Israeli missile defense MORE’s (D-N.Y.) reelection campaign until after the 2010 state convention.
The group's highly unusual letter seeks to remind chairwoman June O'Neill that party rules permit equal access for any candidate for the seat before convention-goers meet to designate a party-backed candidate.
"Some of the cosigners of this letter may support Sen. Gillibrand. Some
are considering running for the seat. Others remain undecided," the
representatives wrote. "However, each of us wants a Democrat to win in
a process that is fair, open and inclusive."
Gillibrand, appointed by Gov. David Paterson (D) to fill Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton's vacant seat, caused an uproar among several Empire State Democratic constituencies, especially those who had hoped for an appointee out of New York City and one who backed stricter gun control regulations than Gillibrand does.
Among those signing the letter were New York Reps. Carolyn McCarthyCarolyn McCarthyLobbying World Lobbying world House Dem says leaders must know when to move on MORE,
Carolyn Maloney and Steve Israel, three Democrats who had been
considered candidates for the appointment and who have all said they
will consider challenging Gillibrand in a primary.
Also signing the letter were Reps. Jose Serrano, Yvette Clark, Nydia Velazquez and Jerry Nadler, who represent districts in New York City, along with Rep. Tim BishopTim BishopDems separated by 29 votes in NY House primary Flint residents hire first K Street firm House moves to vote on .1T package; backup plan in place MORE, who represents a Long Island district, and Reps. Eric Massa and Maurice Hinchey, who represent upstate districts.
Spokespeople for several signers declined to comment on the perception that politics may be central to the move. "This is really just openness that we're seeking," said Jared Smith, an aide to Massa.