Caroline Kennedy spoke with New York's governor on Monday, telling him that she's interested in the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Hillary Rodham Clinton.
The move makes Kennedy the highest-profile candidate to express an interest in the job.
Kennedy is the daughter of the late President John F. Kennedy. Her uncle, the late Robert F. Kennedy, once held the Senate office she now wants.
Is Caroline Kennedy qualified for the job? Click play for more analysis with Allison Kasic of the Independent Women's Voice.
New York Gov. David Paterson, a Democrat, will choose Clinton's replacement to serve the next two years. Under New York law, he has sole authority to name a replacement for Clinton, who is presently on her second term.
"She told me she was interested in the position," Paterson said. "It's not a campaign. She'd like at some point to sit down."
It is expected that Clinton will be confirmed as President-elect Barack Obama's secretary of state.
New York's senior senator, Charles Schumer, said he has also talked to Kennedy about the accepting the seat.
"And she's clearly interested," he said.
Other Democrats who insiders say are on Paterson's short list include New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo. He won't say publicly whether he's interested.
Republicans, on the other hand, have criticized Kennedy as unqualified for the job and unfamiliar with the state.
"If anything, it makes me more determined to run," said Rep. Peter King, a Long Island Republican who has already expressed his interest in the seat.
"As far as record of achievement, I strongly believe that I'm much more qualified, much more experienced, and have an independent record," King said.
"Nothing against Caroline Kennedy, but I don't think anyone has a right to a seat."
Source: The Associated Press