ABC News’ Katie Hinman reports: New York Gov. David Paterson said he’s close to making a decision about who to appoint to the Senate seat Hillary Clinton will leave vacant when she moves on to her new role as secretary of state.
The governor told ABC News’ "Nightline" he’s weighing the candidates and plans to name a replacement around the time Clinton receives her expected confirmation from the Senate.
Paterson didn’t say who those candidates might be, but speculation has centered on New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo and Caroline Kennedy, who is the daughter of President Kennedy, niece of the Senate’s liberal lion, Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., and a close political ally of President-elect Obama.
Paterson said the outrage over Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s alleged plan to auction his state’s open Senate seat to the highest bidder is "a healthy reminder to those of us who have been placed in the position of making such a weighty choice."
"This duty is higher than even the normal constitutional duties of a governor," he said. "We’re being asked to do what the public would have done."
Paterson added that whomever he appoints, New Yorkers will "make a correction in two years by deciding who should really be the senator," when they vote on who should fill the seat in the 2010 election.