NEW YORK - Gov. David A. Paterson says that people should refrain from gossiping about whom he will appoint to the U.S. Senate.

Anticipation has swirled around the selection since Caroline Kennedy decided to seek appointment to the seat being vacated by Hillary Rodham Clinton, who is nominated for secretary of state.

Kennedy is the daughter of President John F. Kennedy, and her uncle Robert F. Kennedy once held the seat.

In Harlem yesterday, Paterson said he was in no rush to name his pick for who will finish Clinton's term.

"I feel less anxiety over the choice, because in two years the public will, in a special election, determine who is the senator," Paterson said.

Under the state constitution, the appointee must stand in the next general election, which is in 2010.