She also plans to ask to keep her House committee assignments in the Senate"armed services and agriculture.
Gillibrand won her second bid to represent New York's 20th Congressional District in November, taking a healthy percentage of the vote in the Republican-leaning district. The 42-year-old mother of two served in the Department of Housing and Urban Development during President Clinton's years (under Andrew Cuomo, whose name often appeared on a short list of potential candidates for Paterson) and was assisted in her first election by top Clinton advisor Howard Wolfson.
Clinton and Gillibrand have campaigned and raised money for one another in previous elections, and Gillibrand largely attributed her entrance into politics to a speech she gave in China while First Lady.
She is a member of the exclusive group of Blue Dog Democrats, a group of less than 50 House members whose political stances are right leaning. Gillibrand secured votes in the 20th partly because of her conservative stances on gun control, stem cell research and drivers licenses for illegal immigrants. She was also a strong supporter of 2008's Farm Bill.
Her win against four-term incumbent John Sweeney in 2006 gave credence to her political savvy, as she rolled out what was a well-run, well-funded campaign for a first-time candidate. More than one political pundit was taken by surprise that November.
Though the former New York City lawyer has not made downstate issues part of her political life"and has drawn some fire from members of her party for it"on Friday she pledged to work for the whole state, not just upstate.
"I will look for ways to find common ground between upstate and downstate," she said, specifically mentioning finding a way to reduce gun violence while persevering hunters' rights.
Senator Charles Schumer, however, applauded the fact that Paterson chose an upstate representative.