ALBANY—The capital city's Democratic mayor does not think Caroline Kennedy is the answer.
Jerry Jennings, a longtime ally and supporter of Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, says he would pick Cuomo to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Hillary Clinton, because he believes the attorney general would be able to hit the ground running.
"My feeling is that the strongest candidate would be the attorney general," Jennings said after a swearing-in ceremony at the Capitol. "This is a really, really important year for us."
Albany was not among the cities visited by Kennedy two weeks ago during a whirlwind journey through upstate New York that she referred to Saturday as a "fact-finding" mission.
Jennings smiled at that characterization, but said it's happened before and he had no problem with anyone doing so to get a better feel for the unique needs, particularly economic needs, of the region. He said that while Kennedy didn't visit Albany, she did include him in her round of phone calls to prominent Democrats around the state and asked to visit.
"I said, ‘Sure, you're welcome any time you want to come up,'" Jennings said. But that was about the nicest thing he had to say.
"There's a lot of popular names out there, but we need people who understand these issues and can articulate them," he said. "We need someone we can all stand behind. Right now she's created some division."