Ford wrote in a column published Tuesday in the New York Post that he is "strongly considering" a challenge against Gillibrand, who was appointed in 2009 by New York Gov. David Paterson to fill the Senate seat vacated by Hillary Clinton.
Ford, who grew up in Memphis, Tenn., and who represented the state's 9th Congressional District, laid out the case for why New Yorkers should vote for him in his column -- highlighting his pro-choice stance and commitment to "promoting gun safety and handgun control."
"I moved to New York more than three years ago, have been a New York resident for more than a year and am a registered voter in New York City," he wrote. "My wife and I both work in Manhattan, proudly call lower Manhattan home and plan to start and raise a family in New York."
Ford defended his rating with NARAL Pro-Choice America, an emphasis he made to New York voters after playing down his pro-choice bona fides in Tennessee.
"I am pro-choice -- have always been since I entered politics almost 15 years ago. My cumulative grade with NARAL during 10 years in Congress was right at 80 percent. Any assertions to the contrary are false," he wrote.
Several influential Democrats have tried to discourage Ford and others from challenging Gillibrand, who must run in November to fill the remainder of Clinton's term. The winner will then have to run again in 2012 for his or her own six-year term.
The Obama administration, meanwhile, is steadfastly supporting Gillibrand for re-election.
"I think the White House is -- is quite happy with the leadership and the representation of Senator Gillibrand in New York," White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters Monday. "And as many are in the DNCC, we're supporting her re-election."