Gay NY Lawmaker Jon Cooper Weighing U.S. Senate Run
Jon Cooper, a legislator from Suffolk County, New York who was Obama's Long Island campaign chairman told Newsday he's searching for a PR firm to assess his chances at Kirsten Gillibrand's U.S. Senate seat in 2010:
"'I consider myself progressive on the important issues,' said Cooper, alluding to gun control and gay rights. 'And obviously, Sen. Gillibrand has not been a strong supporter in the past on either issue.' He added he is 'very concerned' that state voters may lack confidence in a candidate who makes 'a 180 degree turnabout' on major issues. Gillibrand did not have an immediate comment. But Matt Canter, Gillibrand's spokesman said, 'I'm not exactly sure what he's referring to.' He added, 'As New Yorkers get the facts about her progressive record, they will see Sen. Gillibrand has consistently supported reducing gun violence, allowing gay couples to marry and always protecting a woman's right to choose."
Gillibrand was appointed by New York governor David Paterson to fill Hillary Clinton's seat in January. Were Cooper to run and be elected, he'd be the first openly gay U.S. Senator.