Attorney seeks Congress seat

Latham attorney Phillip G. Steck is hoping to ride the recent wave of Democratic success in local elections all the way to Washington.

Steck, D-Loudonville, an Albany County legislator since 1999, announced Wednesday, Dec. 19, on the steps of the James T. Foley Courthouse in Albany that he would be seeking the 21st Congressional District seat left vacant by U.S. Rep. Mike McNulty, D-Green Island.

McNulty announced early in the year that he would not seek re-election to the seven-county congressional district. Since then, buzz of who will seek his seat has included Schenectady Mayor Brian Stratton, also a Democrat.

Steck said he is confident a revamped grassroots Democratic party in the Capital District will see him through to the seat, especially with recent Democratic wins in Colonie town elections and U.S. Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand's, D-Hudson, win in the 20th Congressional District.

"For years we labored in obscurity, and we suffered under Republican domination," said Steck, Colonie's Democratic Committee chairman. "The people are tired of the same old, same old. From grassroots to global issues, they want someone that stands up for them."

Steck's priorities included ending the war in Iraq immediately, bring economic security to the country and working toward universal health insurance.

Locally, he plans to continue McNulty's record and work toward maximizing federal aid to Upstate cities, he said.

Ultimately the plan is to end the "costly bureaucracy" and ill-conceived policies that led America into the war in Iraq and has threatened the country's economic stability, he said.

A number of local Democrats, including State Assemblyman Robert Reilly, D-Latham, newly elected Democratic supervisor Jack Cunningham in Bethlehem, and Paula Mahan in Colonie joined Steck for his announcement. They all concurred that Steck is an ideal candidate to carry on recent success for Democrats.

Many have attributed the root of the recent successes to Reilly, who won the previously Republican-held 109th Assembly District.

"The analogy is, it's a chain of various links. Am I a link in the chain? Yes. Is Phil a link in the chain? Yes," said Reilly.

Steck's reputation as a county legislator and practicing attorney is of respect and integrity, he said. He's the right person for the job and to carry on McNulty's legacy, he added.

Steck and his wife, Tricia, live in Loudonville with their two daughters Alexandra, 12 and Aaron, 9, who were in attendance at the announcement.""

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