Kirsten E. Gillibrand is running for the second time in two years to retain her seat in the U.S. Senate representing New York. She was appointed to the Senate in 2009 by then-Gov. David A. Paterson to replace Hillary Clinton, who left the post after being named secretary of state in the Obama administration.
Sen. Gillibrand handily won a special election in 2010 to complete Mrs. Clintons term. She now faces Wendy E. Long, a Republican attorney who lives in New York City and is also the nominee for the Conservative Party.
Ms. Long, a conservative who has served as legal adviser for Mitt Romneys presidential campaign, once clerked for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. She is active in judicial politics and has run a vigorous campaign for Senate against her better-known rival.
Sen. Gillibrand, also an attorney, was elected twice to represent New Yorks 20th Congressional District before entering the Senate as its youngest member. Serving with her New York colleague, Sen. Charles E. Schumer, Ms. Gillibrand has worked hard to represent the state and establish her place in the Senate. She is progressive but also a centrist who can work across the aisle to create and pass legislation. An Albany native who represented an upstate congressional district, Sen. Gillibrand is receptive to upstate concerns and well positioned to address them.
She values transparency in government and as a House member was the first person in Congress to release her scheduling information, earmark requests and personal financial statements. Early in her Senate tenure, she championed repeal of the U.S, militarys Dont Ask, Dont Tell policy and the adoption of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act which provides health benefits to ill Ground Zero workers.
Like Sen. Schumer, Sen. Gillibrand has become involved in a host of issues that affect peoples everyday lives and businesses from health care to child care, higher education to veterans benefits, senior citizens concerns and property taxation. She serves on the Agriculture Committee and has been helpful in supporting the dairy industry. She is also a member of the Armed Services Committee.
The senator has cited rebuilding the American economy and creating good jobs as top priorities. Yet she continues to oppose hydrofracking in the state until further studies can be done. Meanwhile, New Yorkers benefit from lower fuel costs due to natural gas production in other states, but they are losing out on the jobs that are being created as a result of natural gas drilling. While other states prosper, New York is being left behind.
This is shortsighted. There is still time to introduce the new drilling process and spur natural gas development in New York. This should be done to help revitalize upstate.
During a short time in office, Kirsten Gillibrand has learned much and worked hard to become an effective senator for New York. She is intelligent and energetic. As a mother of young children who balances family duties with work demands, she brings an important perspective to the Senate.
The Times recommends electing Kirsten E. Gillibrand to a full six-year term.