The governor of New York state has named U.S. congresswoman Kirsten Gillibrand to fill the Senate seat left vacant by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Democrat David Paterson told reporters Friday it was a "privilege and honor" to appoint Gillibrand, a second-term Democrat, to the seat. At an event in the state capital of Albany, he called her the best person for the job and praised her work on healthcare and budgetary issues.
In a statement, President Barack Obama praised the appointment, calling Gillibrand a strong advocate for government reform.
Gillibrand was a surprise choice, given the high-profile candidates for the post. The appointment came after one of the leading contenders, Caroline Kennedy, the daughter of the late President John F. Kennedy, said she was not interested in the position.
Another top candidate for the position was state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo.
Hillary Clinton resigned her seat after Mr. Obama selected her to serve as the top diplomat in his administration.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.