Sunday, November 23, 2008

Ex-Hillary Clinton Aide Leecia Eve Could Take Over as Senator by Kenneth Lovett - NY Daily News

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Leecia Eve, a former aide to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, is the latest name to surface as a possible replacement if her ex-boss becomes secretary of state.

Former Hillary Clinton aide Leecia Eve may wind up replacing her former boss in the Senate. Putrock for News/Joe Putrock/Daily News

A source close to Gov. Paterson, who would appoint Clinton's successor, and two Democratic operatives say Eve entered the mix in the last two days.

Eve, who is from Buffalo, ran for lieutenant governor in 2006 with the backing of top Harlem pols, including Paterson's father, Basil, and Rep. Charles Rangel.

The daughter of longtime deputy Assembly Speaker Arthur Eve, she dropped out when Eliot Spitzer picked Paterson, then Senate minority leader.

The source said the governor would like someone from upstate - every statewide elected official is from downstate - who is a woman and preferably Hispanic.

Eve could not be reached for comment.

"Leecia has support from Rangel, is someone [senior Sen. Chuck] Schumer could work with, and she was Clinton's counsel so she knows the Senate," a longtime Democratic operative said. "She's seen as a smart pick."

A former Spitzer aide questioned whether Eve has the gravitas to be a senator.

"She speaks well, but we said no as lieutenant governor because we didn't think she was heavy enough or informed enough," the former aide said.

Other upstaters in the hunt include Rep. Brian Higgins of Buffalo and Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand, a former Clinton aide from Saratoga Springs.

Downstate New Yorkers mentioned include Rep. Nydia Velazquez, Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, Rep. Steven Israel of Long Island and Rep. Carolyn Maloney of Manhattan.