Sources: Rep. Israel May Run Against Gillibrand


steve-israelRumors have been swirling that New York Rep. Steve Israel will announce he’s challenging Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand in next year’s primary – perhaps as early as today or tomorrow. Israel will make some kind of an announcement and soon. New York Dems say that he’s likely to set up an exploratory committee instead of announcing, flat-out, that he’s running. It’s a technical point – but it gives him an out if things don’t work out.Manhattan Democratic Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, chairwoman of the Joint Economic Committee, is considering a similar move.

The ambitious Israel, a prodigious fundraiser, was a supporter of Majority Leader Steny Hoyer in his battle against Pelosi pick Jack Murtha in ’06.

That means he’s not in Pelosi’s circle, despite rising steadily in the ranks of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. That means he might not have lots of incentive to linger in a relatively low-paying Congressional gig that keeps him away from his family for half the year.

Israel raised a surprisingly modest $282,032 during the first quarter – $200k less than Maloney’s haul. Gillibrand raised $2 million in the same period – but her approval rating is still in the dumps and she remains an enticing target.

Overall, Gillibrand has $2.2 million in the bank, compared to Israel’s $1.7 million and Maloney’s $1.3 million.

Anti-gun activist Carolyn McCarthy, another Long Island Dem, has already said she’s considering a run – but has hinted she would back off if someone (possibly Israel) took up the challenge.

One potential impediment for Israel seems to have been removed: Chuck Schumer, who is supporting Gillibrand despite his disdain for picking sides intra-party squabbles, has apparently backed off his prediction that his junior senator won’t face a primary.

Schumer now says he won’t interfere if someone else wants in, according Daily Newser Liz Benjamin.

{Politico/Elisha Newscenter}



  1. ha! SHE IS MORE CONSERVATIVE than him! who would have ever thought a democrat would be more conservative than the republican who might challenge her! ha!

  2. oops, israel is the dem who is going to challenge her from the left. my mistake. i already throught mccarthy and scott stringer were going to do that. Pataki is the onlty republican doofus who might run for senate.