Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), seeking to obliterate the notion that she would be an inviting target in a Democratic primary or the general election next year, announced Monday that she has raised more than $2.3 million since being appointed to the Senate in late January.
“Thanks to an overwhelming show of support from voters all over New York, our campaign shattered our goals,— Gillibrand said in an e-mail to supporters.
Gillibrand’s announcement is sure to give would-be opponents pause. Potential Democratic primary challengers include New York Reps. Steve Israel, Carolyn Maloney, Carolyn McCarthy, Jerrold Nadler and José Serrano, along with Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer and Suffolk County Legislator Jon Cooper.
Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) and former New York Gov. George Pataki (R) have spoken to the National Republican Senatorial Committee about possible Senate bids in 2010.
First-quarter campaign finance reports are due to the Federal Election Commission on April 15, and political analysts then will have a better idea of where Gillibrand — and her potential challengers — stands financially. But Gillibrand, who proved to be a prodigious fundraiser in her two House campaigns, was happy to take an early victory lap.
“I am humbled and grateful at this outpouring of support, and I can’t thank you enough for your early commitment to our campaign!— she wrote. “In just my first two months in the Senate, I have had the opportunity to travel all across New York State and meet with countless families struggling in these challenging economic times. It is an honor and a privilege to fight for New York in the U.S. Senate and to have your generous support along the way.—