Cooper Officially Explores a Race Against Gillibrand

Add Jon Cooper, a Suffolk County legislator, to the list of Democrats who say they’re considering running a primary against Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.

Cooper sent out a statement saying he filed an exploratory committee for the office.

“The problems faced by suburban and rural communities along with urban centers call for a Senator who can address those needs based on his or her business, legislative and community service background,” the statement said. “I am exploring a run for the U.S. Senate because I have the kind of record that can help meet the challenges we face.”

It’s the sort of thing that helps raise a profile without actually risking much of anything.

Cooper, who would be both the only gay candidate in the primary—and, unless Representative Carolyn McCarthy follows through with an early threat to run, the only candidate from Long Island—joins Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, who did the same thing earlier.

Representative Carolyn Maloney has also indicated she may run, going as far as hiring a “statewide finance director.”

Cooper is up for re-election to his legislative seat later this year.

UPDATE: Minutes after Cooper’s email, Gillibrand’s campaigned emailed supporters with a letter from Robert F. Kennedy Jr. titled: “Why I Support Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.”

Cooper Officially Explores a Race Against Gillibrand