Former Congresswoman Holtzman interested in Weiner's seat

Reuters News
Posted: Jul 05, 2011 7:43 PM
Former Congresswoman Holtzman interested in Weiner's seat

By Jonathan Allen

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Former Representative Elizabeth Holtzman, who was the youngest woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, said on Tuesday she is considering running for New York's Congressional seat left vacant by disgraced Congressman Anthony Weiner.

A special election has been called for September 13 to fill the seat from the ninth district, which encompasses parts of the city's Queens and Brooklyn boroughs.

The seat has been open since Weiner's June 16 resignation in the wake of revelations that he was sending lewd messages and self-portraits to women over the Internet.

"I'd be very interested in getting the Democratic Party's designation. I'd be very honored," Holtzman told Reuters in an interview.

"People know that I'm a fighter and know that I'd stand up for their interests," she said.

Holtzman, 69, represented Brooklyn in the House for four terms from 1973, when she was 31 years old, until 1981. She was active on the Judiciary Committee, participating in impeachment hearings of former President Richard Nixon, and was a co-founder of the Congressional Caucus for Women's Issues.

After narrowly losing a bid for a Senate seat, she was elected Brooklyn District Attorney, a post she held until her election as city comptroller in 1989.

She was the first woman to serve as district attorney in Brooklyn and the first woman to be elected city comptroller. She also is an attorney.

Holtzman said she has registered her interest in the nomination with Rep. Joseph Crowley, chairman of the Democratic Party in Queens.

Crowley is seen as a decisive figure in the process of choosing a Democratic nominee. Calls to his office were not returned on Tuesday.

"These are very tough times. People are in real pain, and they want someone who in Washington who will understand their concerns for them," she said.

(Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst and Greg McCune)