BY Julie Bolcer

January 11 2010 8:55 AM ET

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York will report later this month
that she has raised $7.1 million in campaign funds since being appointed last year, as
she prepares to face a potential primary challenger in former
congressman Harold E. Ford Jr.

Supporters of the senator, who has never been elected to statewide office, hope that her fund-raising prowess will deter Ford, who is expected to announce his plans next month, according to The New York Times.

“There is no question that the $7.1 million is impressive, especially for a rookie senator,” reported the Times. “Even at the end of the first nine months of 2009, Ms. Gillibrand ranked third in fund-raising among Senate Democrats who will be on the ballot this year. Only the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, and Mr. [Charles] Schumer were ahead of her.”

Gillibrand raised money by tapping into New York senior senator Schumer’s network, women’s groups, and supporters of Hillary Rodham Clinton, who held the seat before becoming secretary of state.

Ford, who moved from Tennessee to New York to work in investment banking three years ago, has drawn fire from gay rights advocates because of his support for a proposed federal constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage.









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