Possibility of Democratic primaries for 108th, 109th assembly districts
For the first time in more than two decades Majority Leader Ron Canestrari will not represent his Assembly district. This weekend, the selection committee for the Albany County Democratic Party put their support behind a candidate to replace him. And as YNN's Beth Croughan tells us, it looks like this will lead to a democratic primary for the 108th.
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ALBANY, N.Y. -- "That's why I got into politics 16 years ago was because I wanted to be a voice for people. I think I've done that well on the local level and that has prepared me to move to the state level," said Albany Common Council President Carolyn McLaughlin of her decision to run for the 108th Assembly District.
And apparently members of the Albany County Democratic Party selection committee agree.
They've thrown their support behind McLaughlin for the 108th State Assembly District. The seat will need to be filled when Democratic Majority Leader Ron Canestrari retires at the end of his term.
While the recommendation is not an official endorsement, McLaughlin said it's encouraging.
"I just look forward to everyone getting excited about this campaign," she said.
But McLaughlin will have a challenger in the Democratic primary. Cohoes Mayor John McDonald announced his plans to run for the 108th District on Friday and said the recommendation doesn't change his decision.
"I know one thing for sure and my announcement on Friday was very clear, I have widespread support throughout the whole 108th Assembly District. I think that's the most important aspect," said Cohoes Mayor John McDonald.
Albany County Democratic Party Chair Matthew Clyne said the interview committee was impressed by both, but felt McLaughlin would be the most effective representative.
It's one of two Assembly Districts they've vetted for; recommending Albany County Legislator Leader Frank Commisso for Assemblyman Jack McEneny's seat, who is also retiring.
"There will probably primaries, democratic primaries, for both of those seats," said Clyne.
The possibility of primaries is providing hope for the Albany County Republican Committee Chair. Donald Clarey said that could split the vote in what have been Democratic districts and so far the Republicans have one candidate for each opening.
"That mean's we're going to be united. We're going to be raising money, while the other is spending it. Again, the primaries will be in September, so that's not much time to bind the wounds that the Democrats are going to have," said Clarey.
Albany Common Council member Dominick Calsolaro has also expressed interest in the 108th district. Sunday, the Democrat said he hadn't decided whether he would continue in the race.