Stringer Still Thinking About Senate Run

Manhattan beep Scott Stringer says he's still eyeing a possible primary against Kirsten Gillibrand despite President Obama's successful move last week to get Long Island Dem Steve Israel to stand down.

Either that or he's still waiting for his own White House call and an offer of a sweet ambassadorship.

"Borough President Stringer respects Congressman Israel's decision and continues to explore his options for a potential run," says Stringer campaign spokesman, Eric Pugatch of Knickerbocker SKD.

Stringer launched an exploratory committee last month saying Gillibrand does not represent "core Democratic values" regarding issues such as guns and immigration. What started as a lark picked up speed as other Democrats encouraged him to make the challenge.

Also unmoved by the Israel withdrawal is another potential challenger, Manhattan congresswoman Carolyn Maloney. In a statement released yesterday Maloney said: "Steve Israel's decision to not run for the U.S. Senate was his choice to make, but it doesn't affect my decision-making process." 

Yet to be heard from is Long Island congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy who had the toughest comments on Gillibrand immediately after the upstate congresswoman was picked by Governor Paterson to fill Hillary Clinton's senate slot.

Meanwhile, state Senate majority leader Malcolm Smith is ready to fall right in line and endorse Gillibrand, reports The News' Liz Benjamin. Smith is the first of what Senator Chuck Schumer -- Gillibrand's biggest booster -- hopes will be an onslaught of endorsements.

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