Skip to comments.N.Y. Rep. Gilman (R) Mulls Party Switch to Democrat
Posted on 06/06/2002 7:55:05 PM PDT by vannrox
WASHINGTON- With his job on the chopping block, the senior Republican in New York's congressional delegation is considering a switch to the Democratic Party.
A spokesman for Rep. Benjamin Gilman said Tuesday that State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, a Democrat, broached the idea with the GOP lawmaker during a private meeting in Albany, N.Y., about congressional redistricting.
"He told the speaker it was a very interesting offer," Brian Walsh said of Gilman's reaction, declining to elaborate.
Silver said he told Gilman on Monday that if the congressman runs as a Democrat, "I would support him."
Gilman, the 79-year-old former chairman of the House International Relations Committee, has represented a district just north of New York City since 1972. He is a moderate Republican.
The state Legislature must eliminate two of New York's 31 congressional seats because of slow population growth as reported by the 2000 Census. The latest redistricting plan under consideration would put Gilman in a district with fellow GOP Rep. Sue Kelly, who is serving her fourth term.
That new district would favor Kelly because it includes most of her current district.
A party switch by Gilman would, at the very least, force the GOP to spend heavily to defend Kelly at a time when Democrats are making a strong bid to take control of the House. Republicans now hold a 222-211 advantage, with two independents.
State legislative leaders have renewed efforts in the last week to devise new congressional district lines to avoid having a plan created by a court-appointed special master take effect.
Walsh said Gilman also is considering legal options to try to save his district.
On the Net:
Gilman's office: http://www.house.gov/gilman
That's because the state is pretty much run by Democrats. Working people and business can't afford to stay in NY. They leave for greener pastures. They aren't stupid.
The rest of the potential population is aborted by the liberals.
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