Former Tennessee Rep. Harold Ford (D) on Tuesday morning stressed his interest in running against current Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.).

Writing in a New York Post op-ed, the New York transplant insisted that he is "seriously considering" a run for the upper chamber this fall and defended himself against early criticisms of his potential bid.


"It's true: I am strongly considering running for the United States Senate," he wrote. "New Yorkers deserve a free election. New Yorkers expect a politics where politicians do what's right based on independent judgment, free of political bosses trying to dictate."

Ford has attracted much attention since last week, when it was reported he was mulling a primary bid in the Empire State against Gillibrand.

But Democratic leaders, most notably the White House, have stood behind Gillibrand, who was appointed early last year to replace now-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. Gillibrand, however, has suffered from poor poll numbers.

Last week, Ford's spokesman said that the centrist would not be "bullied or intimidated" by "party bosses" while he weighs a bid.

Other critics slammed his record on abortion rights, saying his stances are too restrictive for New York, a solid blue state. NARAL even released an ad slamming Ford for his anti-abortion-rights rhetoric during his 2006 Senate bid in Tennessee, a more conservative state.

Ford countered that he is "pro-choice" and that he also supports same-sex marriage, an issue Gillibrand strongly supports.

"I am pro-choice — have always been since I entered politics almost 15 years ago," he wrote. "Any assertions to the contrary are false."

Ford continued that "from the moment I arrived in Congress, I supported civil unions. Like New York's senior senator, after listening to and participating in the national conversation about full equality and fairness, I support same-sex marriage."