Openly Gay Politician on Short List to Replace Hillary in Senate

Could the New York City’s first openly-gay City Council member, Christine Quinn, be tapped to replace Hillary Clinton‘s Senate seat once she formally accepts Obama’s offer to be Secretary of State?

The answer is a definite maybe according to Sharyn O’Halloran, a political science professor at Columbia University. New York Governor David Paterson will make the appointment. Gov. Paterson is a champion of gay rights in New York and earlier this year, ordered the state to recognize same-sex marriages performed outside the state.

When asked about the possibility, Quinn made the standard non-denial denial a politician makes when asked about future political prospects, saying:

“There’s a lot of steps that have to fall into place before we get to the point where we might have to look for a United States senator. I am very lucky to have a job right now, a job that I love and I am at this moment planning to run for both of the jobs that I have – local councilmember and speaker.”

If Quinn were appointed, she would be the first openly-gay U.S. senator. Sorry Sen. Craig, you don’t count. However, O’Halloran says the current top contender for the position is New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo.