Albany Co. Dems endorse none of the above for 109th Assembly | Politics
ALBANY - There was a bit of controversy Wednesday night as the Albany County Democratic Party selected its slate of state Assembly and state Senate candidates. Their decision in the newly formed 109th Assembly District appears to have created a free-for-all to fill the seat being vacated by the retiring Jack McEneny.
It had been expected that long-time Albany County Legislator Frank Commisso would get the party blessing, but Commisso unexpectedly bowed out at the last minute -- setting the stage for the Democrats to select none of the above.
The abrupt exit of Commisso from the Assembly race created what Albany County Democratic Chairman Matthew Clyne calls an "unfortunate case of chaos."
"I think this changes the landscape for the thinking of other people," Clyne said. "If you don't have a designated candidate, you don't have a unified front working against you so that will create opportunity for people who probably could not secure the designation."
Former Albany School Board President Patricia Fahy says she's in it to win it and she really would have loved to get the party endorsement.
"Obviously I was hoping," Fahy said. "I'm very committed to the finish but it was unclear. I can't say I'm surprised."
Albany County Legislator Christopher Higgins was also hoping to get the Democratic backing.
"Given the circumstances and the fact this race is very much in flux, I think it's entirely appropriate," Higgins said. "However, I am very humbled and confident that we would have ultimately had the votes."
Thomas Dolan, a Coeymans town councilman, got the party endorsement in the 46th state Senate District where he'll square off against current Republican Assemblyman George Amedore.
"It's a new district. It's five counties and it's three counties that (Amedore) doesn't have much of a history in," Dolan said. "I have a history in Albany County, Greene County, and Ulster County so I actually like my chances."
Meanwhile, Cohoes Mayor John McDonald said he intends to stay in the race for the 108th Assembly seat -- to replace Ron Canestrari -- even though Albany Common Council President Carolyn McLaughlin got the Democratic backing to no one's surprise.
"It's a pretty good benefit and it's a deserved benefit," McLaughlin said. "I have spent almost 20 years involved in Albany County politics."
McLaughlin said she's dedicating her campaign to the memory of Nebraska Brace, the long time area political figure who was laid to rest earlier in the day Wednesday. McLaughlin says Brace blazed a trail for her and other African Americans to entire the political arena for the betterment of the entire Albany community.
Back in the 109th Assembly District, Margarita Perez is also a declared candidate and County Chairman Matthew Clyne said he wouldn't be surprised if others jumped into the race in the coming weeks as well.