Rep. Carolyn MaloneyCarolyn Bosher MaloneyReport: Americans unprepared for retirement Senate approves fund to provide compensation for Sept. 11 victims Here are the 95 Democrats who voted to support impeachment MORE, one of several New York Democrats seeking appointment to the Senate, backed one of her House colleagues who had criticized Caroline Kennedy.

"Gary Ackerman has been a strong supporter of women's rights," Maloney said of her fellow House Democrat. "He is not a sexist."

Maloney made the remarks Monday on local New York radio, according to The Daily News. The host, Daily News columnist Errol Lewis, had asked Maloney whether she saw sexism in Ackerman's comparisons of Kennedy to pop star Jennifer Lopez and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R). Rep. Ackerman had suggested that Kennedy was unqualified for the seat just like Lopez would be and that the start of her campaign was highly controlled, just like Palin's vice presidential bid was.

Maloney, however, wouldn't directly criticize Kennedy or her overt campaign for Senate. New York Gov. David Paterson (D) make the appointment to fill the seat soon to be vacated by Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D), who has been designated as the next secretary of State.

"That really is a decision that is totally the governor's...It's not an election, it's an appointment, and he will be the one to decide who can hit the ground running on Day One to advocate for New York State," Maloney said. "I can only talk about my own work and what I've done."

Kennedy has declared her interest in the Senate seat and has campaigned in upstate New York for support of Democratic elected officials. Maloney, who won her 9th term last month, has hired a consultant in her bid for the seat, The Daily News noted.