We were just about to update our who-replaces-Hillary post to include Erie County Rep. Brian Higgins, who is close to Gov. Paterson and would help him build bridges to upstate Dems.
Then we recieved OFFICIAL word from county committee executive director Kathleen Callan:
The Erie County Democratic Committee
Ellicott Square Building, Ste. 115
Buffalo, NY 14203
Statement from Erie County Democratic Committee Chairman Len Lenihan Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton has been an extraordinary representative for New York State. Current speculation is that she is being considered as a nominee for Secretary of State. Serving in that capacity, Senator Clinton would be an extraordinary representative of the United States abroad, and would help restore America's standing abroad, and at home as well. In the event that Senator Clinton should become Secretary of State, a number of very qualified candidates would be proposed to replace her as a member of the United States Senate. As Chairman of the Erie County Democratic party -- upstate's largest Democratic county organization -- I am firmly of the opinion that any list of proposed candidates must include candidates from Upstate New York. Chief among those most qualified -- and certainly someone I believe should receive strong consideration in such a scenario -- would be Buffalo-area Congressman Brian Higgins.