UPDATE: Although this is the top story on the NYT site at this writing, other news outlets are saying Kennedy may still be a candidate.
Citing health concerns for her uncle Sen. Ted Kennedy, who collapsed yesterday during the inauguration, Caroline Kennedy is withdrawing her bid for Hillary Clinton’s seat.
On Wednesday she called Gov. David A. Paterson, who will choose a successor to Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton. Her concerns about Senator Edward M. Kennedy’s deteriorating health (he was hospitalized after suffering a seizure during President Obama’s inaugural lunch on Tuesday ) prompted her decision to withdraw, this person said. Coping with her uncle’s condition was her most important priority, a situation not conducive to starting a high profile public job.
Ms. Kennedy believed that the job was hers if she would accept it, the person said. A spokeswoman for Mr. Paterson had no immediate comment. Ms. Kennedy was planning to issue a statement on Wednesday evening. Ms. Kennedy’s decision comes nearly two months after she, along with several members of Congress and leading political officials, began auditioning to replace Mrs. Clinton in the coveted position. Her decision to withdraw is certain to startle the political world. Ms. Kennedy had gained the support of some powerful backers in the state, including several labor officials and a top aide to Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Kevin Sheekey.
NY Gov. Paterson had said earlier today that he would announce his pick by Saturday, but it’s not clear if he knew of Kennedy’s withdrawal at that time.