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Governor Patterson interviewed openly gay Assemblyman Danny O'Donnell about New York's Senate seat

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Okay, now this would be an historic first.

Danny O'Donnell is an openly gay Assemblyman in New York. He led the effort to pass same-sex marriage in the Assembly last year. He's also a good friend of AMERICAblog. Yesterday, Danny sat down with Governor Paterson, at the Governor's invitation, to discuss the New York Senate seat, which is being vacated by Hillary Clinton. The NY Times has the scoop:

Enter the latest contender to sit down face to face with the governor: Assemblyman Daniel J. O’Donnell, a Democrat who represents the Upper West Side. Mr. O’Donnell met with Mr. Paterson for about 45 minutes on Monday afternoon in the governor’s Midtown office for what Mr. O’Donnell said was his formal interview for the Senate seat.

To say Mr. O’Donnell, known for his active support of gay rights issues, including same-sex marriage, was overly optimistic about his chances would be a stretch. He put his odds of getting the seat at about one in 10, or “about the same as the population of gay people in the world.” But Mr. O’Donnell did offer that he believes the governor has yet to settle on a final choice.

“I didn’t get the impression that a decision was coming anytime soon,” Mr. O’Donnell said. “I have the sense that he was really weighing what people were saying. I can tell when people are listening to me and actually listening, and listening to me just because they’re supposed to listen. He seemed to be very intent on focusing on and absorbing what I think my strengths might be.”

With that assessment came a dose of realism from Mr. O’Donnell, who added: “I’m sure I’m not unique. I’m sure he does that with all the people he talks to.”
After I read this article, I talked to Danny and he confirmed the report. This didn't sound perfunctory at all. It's within the realm of possibility.

Danny is a New Yorker through and through. He grew up on Long Island. His partner, John, is from upstate (they've been together since their college days at Catholic University here in D.C.). Danny is also a lawyer and has a long record that shows his commitment to social justice and progressive values.

Think of the symbolism. If Governor Patterson wants to make a powerful statement, Danny would be an amazing choice. Rick Warren might not like it, but Danny would be one hell of a Senator.

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