Caroline Kennedy withdraws bid for US Senate

Caroline Kennedy, the daughter of assassinated former president John F. Kennedy, said she would not be running for the US Senate seat vacated by newly-appointed Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, citing personal reasons.


AFP - Caroline Kennedy has withdrawn from consideration to occupy the US Senate seat vacated by newly sworn-in Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, US media reported Thursday.

"I informed (New York) Governor (David) Paterson today that for personal reasons I am withdrawing my name from consideration for the United States Senate," said an official statement released after midnight (0500 GMT) and published by New York media.

A person close to the decision indicated that Kennedy, the daughter of assassinated president John F. Kennedy, called Paterson on Wednesday, according to the New York Times newspaper.

The source said Kennedy was withdrawing from consideration over concerns about the health of her uncle, Senator Edward Kennedy, who collapsed Tuesday during an inauguration luncheon for President Barack Obama. He has been suffering from brain cancer.

Kennedy had highlighted her record of charitable work, service on cultural boards and efforts to reform New York's education system as proof of a commitment to public service.

But she had been embarrassed by a report that she had not always voted in key elections and she got off to a rocky start with local media amid criticism over her unpolished public speaking ability.

Rivals for the seat include worthy but little-known lawmakers as well as Andrew Cuomo, himself political royalty as the son of popular former state governor Mario Cuomo.

Whoever is selected by Paterson must run for the two years left in Clinton's term in 2010 before pursuing their own six-year tenure in 2012.

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