Democratic Congressman Abandons Run For Senate

05.18.09 | FL News Team

A Long Island Congressman thought to be a sure-fire bet to primary Senator Kirsten Gillibrand next year is announcing he will not run -- after some arm-twisting from President Barack Obama. Steve Israel says he made the decision after Obama flat out asked him not to run for the sake of Democratic Party unity in 2010.

Israel was just days away from announcing his intentions to run for U.S. Senate. Two other downstate Democrats -- Carolyn Maloney of Manhattan and Carolyn McCarthy of Long Island -- are thought to be interested in the seat. Gillibrand was appointed Senator by Governor Paterson to replace Hillary Clinton in January.