After winning her first full term this past Tuesday, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said she's too busy trying in the aftermath of Sandy to savor the victory. NY1's Josh Robin filed the following report.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand says she has one priority: restoring normalcy to the victims of Sandy.
The storm response has dominated her public schedule. On Friday, she met with AmeriCorps members working in shelters.
"It's been a strange time because while these elections are happening, we've been knee deep in water and sadness and destruction," Gillibrand said.
She sees her role as trying to coordinate agencies and to keep the focus on the most vulnerable.
It's a mission that's currently incomplete. Tens of thousands might need housing and unlike other disaster zones, trailers are not able to roam freely to help solve that problem.
There's also the larger issue of finding a new infrastructure needed to prevent a repeat.
"One hundred-year storms happening every two years shows there has been a change in our climate, and so what we need to do is do whatever it takes to protect families," Gillibrand said.
On other issues, such as on raising taxes, she is not in sync with President Barack Obama. The president said he wanted higher tax rates for those making $250,000 and up. Senator Gillibrand said she is fighting for a cutoff of $1 million.
Even before her latest victory, Gillibrand was considered a possible candidate for president in 2016. However, Gillibrand has told reporters that she will serve out her entire senate term.
"I'm entirely committed to doing my job in the senate and I have no intention or plan to do that," Gillibrand said.
"Any governor or senator from New York State is always mentioned as a presidential candidate," said Hank Sheinkopf, a political consultant. "Could Kirsten Gillibrand be a candidate? Why not? Could Andrew Cuomo be a candidate? Sure! Might Hillary Clinton be a candidate? Possibly."
Gillibrand assisted fellow Democrats with fundraising. Previous to the election, she called for more women in public office, and there will be a record 20 female senators in the next session.