Clinton has not endorsed in the race, but his efforts to help Rep. Carolyn Maloney could be seen as a snub to Gillibrand and the Obama White House. Matt McKenna, a spokesman for Clinton, said he will be attending a July 20 fundraiser in New York.

The White House has played an active role in clearing the field for Gillibrand, who was appointed earlier this year to fill the seat vacated when Obama tapped Hillary Rodham Clinton to be his secretary of state. Obama asked Rep. Steve Israel not to challenge Gillibrand, a request he honored. Just days ago, Vice President Joe Biden called Maloney to discuss the race, a clear sign that the White House didn’t want a primary fight next year.