Updated: Landry eyes Assembly seat
As first reported in The Gazette last night, Niskayuna town Supervisor Joe Landry is mulling a bid for the newly created Assembly seat that represents Colonie, Niskayuna and part of Schenectady.
At a Schenectady County Democratic Committee meeting tonight, Landry expressed his interest and said he would have a decision in a few days.
The seat is being vacated by Bob Reilly, D-Colonie, with Democrats Phill Steck, Tim Nichols and Kevin Frazier seeking to replace him. Additionally, Republican Jennifer Whalen already announced interest in the seat as first reported in The Gazette almost two weeks ago.
"I've been involved in a lot of levels of government and I think that we need a good advocate in the state legislature from this district because there are a lot of things happening out there that I'm not agreeing with," Landry said.
Locally, he is concerned with the way state funding is allocated, specifically for local school districts. He said the tax cap and unfunded mandates has led to teacher and teacher aide cuts in Niskayuna.
In the coming days Landry will speak with town chairs in the district and will gauge support for his run.
When Reilly announced his intention not to run again, he endorsed Frazier, who serves as a staffer for Assembly Majority Leader Ron Canestrari. In making that endorsement, he skipped over Nichols, who works for him and is an Albany County legislator.
After that news broke last week, Nichols told The Gazette he was still interested and still thinking about a run. According to Reilly, both men have been interested in the seat for years.
At the meeting, which was to distribute petitions for U.S. Rep. Paul Tonko, D-Amsterdam, Schenectady County Democratic Chairman Brian Quail said the committee also endorsed Schenectady County Legislator Angelo Santabarara's run for the Assembly. He is vying for the same seat he sought in 2010, which likely will be vacated by incumbent George Amedore, R-Rotterdam, in favor of a run for a new state Senate seat being created as part of the reapportionment process.
The Assembly district is essentially the same as in 2010, except for the addition of two Albany County towns.
Follow @GazettePolitics on Twitter for all our political coverage.