Will Gov. Paterson Appoint An Openly Gay Replacement For Hillary Clinton?
Politicos are speculating that among the candidates to replace Hillary Clinton in the Senate are two openly gay NYC politicians: City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Daniel O'Donnell (left), who represents the the Upper West Side in the state Assembly.
Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, however, is considered the leading contender.
There has never been an openly gay U.S. Senator. Openly gay North Carolina businessman Jim Neal ran for Elizabeth Dole's seat this year, but was soundly defeated by eventual winner Kay Hagan in the primary.
BACKGROUND: In June 2007, O'Donnell was the prime sponsor of the Marriage Equality Act, which passed the state Assembly 85-61 following his humorous and impassioned speech that included the line, "I want a license that all of you have; some of you have had it two or three times." (Marriage equality has never come to a vote in the state Senate.) O'Donnell first won election to the Assembly in 2002, taking 82% of the vote.
Christine Quinn was elected City Council Speaker in 2006 after spending seven years representing a section of Manhattan that includes Chelsea, the West Village, and Hell's Kitchen. Widely considered the likely successor to Michael Bloomberg, Quinn's star dimmed considerably this year after financial scandals plagued her office and she championed the unpopular repeal of term limits for the City Council and Bloomberg. Although she does not hold state or federal office, Quinn is considered one of the most powerful openly gay politicians in the country.