Since former Tennessee Congressman and three-year New York resident Harold Ford Jr. announced that he was considering running against Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, his candidacy has been met with widespread opposition from Democrats. Backers of Gillibrand are doing everything they can to keep the 39-year-old politician from running — but before we delve into the details, here's a brief primer on this New York newcomer.
After a 2006 loss in a Senate race in Tennessee temporarily derailed his political ambitions, Ford moved to the Empire State (though he only started voting here last November). He took a gig with the Democratic Leadership Council and worked at Merrill Lynch, where he networked with financial folk who are expected to back him in his Senate run, though today, those Wall Street connections might be more of a curse than a blessing, according to the Observer. (Another potentially damning connection: He once dated blogger/internet personality Julia Allison). Ford is also thought to be more conservative than Gillibrand — who herself has been criticized for being too conservative (he's labeled himself as pro life, voted against gay marriage and benefits for same-sex couples, and has long backed the Iraq War).
But Dems aren't taking any chances. The Post reports that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has already asked Mayor Bloomberg not to support the telegenic politician, and Sen. Charles Schumer has reportedly met with Ford to "try to dissuade him from running," according to the Times. The only question now is if President Obama will ask the potential candidate to get out of the race — like he did when Gillbrand was last challenged.