Meeks, Sharpton Back Gillibrand

The regular Friday endorsement e-mail from Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has arrived: this week it touts the backing of Rev. Al Sharpton and Representative Greg Meeks, who praised "her commitment to working with President Barack Obama to create economic and educational opportunities for communities of color."

Sharpton's endorsement is not surprising, given his strong support for David Paterson, the man who appointed Gillibrand. The two met in Harlem about a month after Gillibrand was appointed to the seat.

This still leaves several members of the New York congressional delegation who have yet to formally endorse Gillibrand. The senator is trying to line up supporters early, in that hope of avoiding a primary challenge.

One congressman who has not publicly backed Gillibrand is Paul Tonko, a freshman whose district borders the one Gillibrand held until she was appointed senator. Tonko stood with Gillibrand at an event Monday at the Capitol in Albany, but when asked said he has still not endorsed her.

He told me then he will meet with her one-on-one "soon."


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