Times writer Michael Barbara, in a piece datelined January 5, alleges that “[a]bout a dozen high-profile Democrats have expressed interest in backing a candidacy by Mr. Ford…” Among those mentioned by name are Richard Piepler, co-president of HBO, and New York mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Barbaro states outright,” To test the viability of a candidacy, Mr. Ford is trying to line up a network of major donors across the state in the weeks ahead.” Ford would be entering this fall’s Democratic primary to challenge the incumbent, former congresswoman Kirsten Gillibrand, who earned an appointment to the seat of former Senator Hillary Clinton after Clinton resigned to become Secretary of State.
One problem that the erstwhile Tennessean, Merrill Lynch rainmaker, and current head of the Democratic Leadership Council may face is touched upon by Barbaro: “The state’s senior senator, Charles E. Schumer, has been aggressively elbowing out potential primary challengers to Ms. Gillibrand.”
Barbaro points out that “New Yorkers are unusually welcoming to political newcomers,” but also notes, “Mr. Ford, who lives in Manhattan, represented a conservative Southern state and, if he runs, may himself have to adjust some of his positions, like his opposition to same-sex marriage, to appeal to New York voters."