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Field for Reilly's seat getting crowded (UPDATED)

By Lombardo David
Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A new monkey wrench has been thrown into the race to succeed retiring Assemblyman Bob Reilly.

In the race for the 110th Assembly District, which includes Niskayuna, Colonie and part of Schenectady, there will now likely be a four-way primary for the Independence Party line, according to two candidates vying for the spot. This primary is in addition to a likely four-way race for the Democratic nomination that will include Albany County Legislator Phil Steck, Albany County Legislator Tim Nichols, Assembly staffer Kevin Frazier and Niskayuna Supervisor Joe Landry.

The likely Republican candidate is Jennifer Whalen, who filed petitions with the state Board of Elections for the Republican and Conservative party lines. Whalen narrowly lost to Reilly in 2010.

According to petitions filed with the BOE, Whalen, Frazier and Steck are all vying for the Independence Party line. Additionally, Landry said he will be submitting petitions.

This line could be important if the election is close, like it was in 2010. In that instance, Reilly netted 2,199 votes from Independence Party voters and ended up winning the seat by less than 500 votes. If things had been reversed two years ago, Whalen said, "I would have won."

Frazier, Nichols and Steck were not immediately available for comment. So far, only Frazier and Nichols have submitted petitions for the Democratic Party line. All primaries would be held on Sept. 13.

UPDATE: Landry, Frazier, Steck and Whalen have all submitted petitions to run in a primary for the Independence Party nomination. Landry, Frazier, Steck and Nichols submitted petitions for the Democratic Party primary.

Independence Party Vice Chair Tom Connolly said the decision to allow an open primary was based on the feeling locally that, "Everybody liked the look of these candidates."

He added that the candidates were very anxious to secure signatures and described the start of the process as akin to the "Oklahoma land rush."

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