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Published: Wednesday, 1/21/2009

Caroline Kennedy ends U.S. Senate bid

Caroline Kennedy is abandoning her pursuit of the vacant U.S. Senate seat f Hillary Clinton. Caroline Kennedy is abandoning her pursuit of the vacant U.S. Senate seat f Hillary Clinton.

ALBANY Published reports say Caroline Kennedy is withdrawing from her effort to join the U.S. Senate in the seat once held by her uncle, slain Sen. Bobby Kennedy.

The New York Times and New York Post reported Wednesday that Ms. Kennedy has ended her monthlong bid to succeed Hillary Clinton, who was confirmed as secretary of state.

The reports occur a day after Ms. Kennedy s uncle, Sen. Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts, suffered a seizure at the inauguration of President Obama. He has been treated for an aggressive brain tumor.

The Times cited a source it didn t identify as saying Ms. Kennedy withdrew out of concern for her uncle and his illness.

But the Post cited an unidentified source as saying she dropped out because she learned Gov. David Paterson had decided not to choose her.

The move appears to clear the way for several other candidates including Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, who Governor Paterson confirmed Tuesday is under consideration.

Mr. Cuomo surpassed Kennedy in statewide polls last week as the favorite of New Yorkers who were surveyed.

Mr. Paterson has said he hopes to make an appointment by this weekend.

Other contenders include Reps. Carolyn Maloney of New York City and Steve Israel of Long Island, along with a strong upstate candidate, Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand, whose district runs along the Hudson Valley.

Other hopefuls among the 10 or 20 Governor Paterson said were under consideration include Reps. Jerrold Nadler and Brian Higgins and Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown.

The reports came hours after Ms. Maloney, some Democrats top choice, was named chairman of the Joint Economic Committee in Congress.

That s a significant move because Governor Paterson had made it clear the next senator s top job should be to help land a federal stimulus package to help New York out of its budget crisis.

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