With the presidential primary now out of the way, local candidates are making their bids for the 21st Congressional seat.
Longtime Democratic incumbent Congressman Michael McNulty announced last October he would not seek an 11th term. A who's who of political names was mentioned as possible candidates following McNulty's announcement.
The rumored Democratic contenders ranged from Albany and Schenectady mayors Gerald Jennings and Bryan Stratton to Assemblyman Jack McEneny, D-Albany, and Loudonville resident and Colonie Democratic Chairman Phil Steck.
Schenectady County Legislature Majority Leader Susan Savage, D-Niskayuna, has also expressed interest in the job, but said she would not run because her father recently passed away and because of family obligations.
Steck and Democrat Tracy Brooks were the only two candidates to officially launch a campaign for the congressional seat as of Thursday, Feb. 7. Brooks, a Capital District native who has worked for Senator Hillary Clinton, D-NY, and with Congressman McNulty, D-Green Island, says she's ready for the job.
I recognize the priorities for this district, Brooks said. "I will be working hand-in-hand with state and local leaders."
Coming fresh off of a New York primary victory for Clinton on Tuesday, Brooks said she has had several discussions with McNulty about her run. Brooks described the Democratic turnout for the primary as "phenomenal" and said the momentum will help the party retain the congressional seat.
Her focus is currently on the primary challenge at hand, however.
"I certainly think there will be other names in the running," Brooks said, but added she will be ready for the Republican challenger if nominated. "We're not going to take anything for granted," she concluded.
On the Republican side, newly elected Guilderland Councilman and previous McNulty challenger Warren Redlich has decided against running for the seat, but former State Comptroller candidate J. Christopher Callaghan has expressed an interest in the job.