Rangel Predicts Gillibrand Primary Talk Will Fizzle

Posted January 31, 2009 at 8:19am

House Ways and Means Chairman Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) predicted Friday that talk of fellow Democrats running against newly minted Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) in next year’s primary will diminish in a few months. Rangel endorsed the pick on C-SPAN’s “Newsmakers” show, which will air on Sunday, although he acknowledged not everyone is happy with the selection of Gillibrand, who has been strongly supported in the past by the National Rifle Association. “She’s entitled to the two years to prove that she could be as good a Senator as she has been a Member of the House,” Rangel said. He added that Gillibrand had reassured him and Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) that she understands she now represents a much larger constituency than just her conservative-leaning upstate Congressional district. Rangel also acknowledged the hurt feelings of other Members of the New York delegation who were passed over by Gov. David Paterson (D) in favor of Gillibrand. But he said they would eventually move on. “There is no question that for those people who wanted to serve, that they were hurt personally and politically that they were passed over, but I think that between now and the next few months that some of the feelings about running primaries will die out.” Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.), a staunch gun control advocate, is threatening to primary Gillibrand and has called her unacceptable.