Senator Gillibrand Avoids Open Campaigning During Busy City Day
Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand is currently running for her first full term in office as a U.S. senator, but during her appearances all over the city Monday, she did not say much about the race or about her opponent. NY1's Bobby Cuza filed the following report.
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Congress may be in summer recess, but Senator Kirsten Gillibrand was hard at work Monday. She appeared on MSNBC's "NOW With Alex Wagner" to talk about increasing the number of women in politics.
"I really believe what our generation needs is a nationwide call to action to make sure more women’s voices are heard," Gillibrand said on the program.
Crisscrossing the city, she also spoke out in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn about raising the minimum wage and on Mariners Park, Staten Island, she discussed a bill to expand tax breaks for small businesses.
One thing she would not talk about was her re-election campaign.
"You know, I’m focused on doing my job," Gillibrand said.
Indeed, none of Monday’s events were campaign stops. Gillibrand said she makes a similar tour every summer.
In fact, she may not need to do much campaigning. She has at least $10 million more on hand than her Republican opponent, attorney Wendy Long, and was 37 points ahead in a recent poll.
Long used her opponent’s visit to Staten Island on Monday to go on the attack, saying Gillibrand has been missing in action there for the past year, arguing it is the senator's failure to bring home more federal dollars to New York that is in part the reason for high tolls on the island.
In a statement, Long says, "This is the most important economic issue that Staten Islanders are facing, and my opponent has been completely silent."
Gillibrand agreed that toll relief is a priority.
"Obviously, men and women who live and work here have to pay too much in tolls. We want to keep those prices down," Gillibrand said. "We also want to make sure that they get specific deductions because they’re residents."
The senator pointed out her last visit to Staten Island was in August 2011 to push for dedicated broadband spectrum for first responders, a bill she helped get passed earlier this year.