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Sources: Caroline Kennedy withdraws name for Senate seat

  • Story Highlights
  • Caroline Kennedy had spoken publicly about her desire for Clinton's Senate seat
  • Gov. David Paterson is charged with appointing replacement until special election
  • Kennedy is the daughter of former President John F. Kennedy
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(CNN) -- Caroline Kennedy, who was widely considered the front-runner for an appointment to replace Hillary Clinton as U.S. senator from New York, will remove herself from consideration for that post, according to three Democratic sources.

Democratic sources said Caroline Kennedy has withdrawn her name from consideration for the Senate seat.

Democratic sources said Caroline Kennedy has withdrawn her name from consideration for the Senate seat.

Sources told CNN that, as of about 8 p.m. Wednesday, she had not yet informed New York Gov. David Paterson of her decision. And as the evening wore on, confusion still surrounded the situation -- sources telling CNN they were unsure of exactly where the decision stood.

The 51-year-old daughter of President John F. Kennedy indicated her interest in filling the seat after Clinton was nominated to be U.S. secretary of state.

Clinton was sworn in to her new position after being confirmed by the Senate on Wednesday.

Since President Obama selected Clinton for the post, virtually all of the buzz about her replacement centered around Kennedy. But as the weeks dragged on, polling showed her popularity among New Yorkers dwindling.

Kennedy's decision to bow out comes a day after her uncle, Sen. Edward Kennedy, suffered a seizure at a luncheon after Obama's inauguration. Doctors said the seizure was triggered by fatigue. Sen. Kennedy, 76, was diagnosed with brain cancer last May.

Paterson has the power to appoint the replacement for the vacated seat, who then faces a special election in 2010 to fill out Clinton's term.

Earlier this week Paterson said he was close, but had not yet picked Clinton's replacement.

Earlier in the week, Paterson said he may interview "a candidate or two" while in Washington for the inauguration. He added that he could settle on a choice "by this weekend."

Before this year, Caroline Kennedy's forays into the public sphere were generally limited to nonpartisan activity, penning books on civil liberties and serving as the de facto guardian of her father's legacy.

"I would be an unconventional choice -- I haven't followed a traditional path, but I think I bring a lifetime of experience to this," she told NY1 last month.

The comment came during a media blitz after she had been criticized for remaining cloistered since her name was floated for the job.

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There are a slew of high-profile candidates for Clinton's Senate seat, including New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, whose last name carries some star power of its own in New York, where his father, Mario Cuomo, was once governor.

A poll earlier this month showed slightly more New Yorkers would rather Cuomo be appointed than Kennedy.

All About Caroline KennedyU.S. SenateHillary Clinton

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