New York Minute

Harold Ford to Test Gillibrand?

An influential group of New York Democrats--including financier Steven Rattner, co-president of HBO Richard Plepler, and New York State Board of Regents chancellor Merryl H. Tisch--are reportedly urging former Tennessee congressman Harold Ford Jr. to run for New York Senate against current seat-holder Kirsten E. Gillibrand who was appointed to the post after Hillary Clinton became Secretary of State. Ford, who moved to New York three years ago after losing a racially charged battle for the Senate in Tennessee, has said he will decide whether to run in the next 45 days. The defection of top Democratic donors underscores Gillibrand's failure to win over key constituencies, particularly in New York City. For his part, Ford may be able to tap a national network of African-American donors in this race, as the Senate's lone black member, Roland W. Burris of Illinois, is set to retire at year's end.