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Reilly could face challenger in 109th

A former assistant attorney general in New York state is raising money and preparing to challenge Assemblyman Bob Reilly, D-Newtonville, in next years 109th district election.

Jennifer Whalen, a small businesswoman in Colonie threw her first fundraiser on Thursday, Dec. 3 and is planning a bid for Reilly's seat. The 109th district covers Colonie, Clifton Park and Halfmoon.

Whalen is calling for common sense solutions to get our economy back on track, cap and cut property taxes and rein in spending to reform government and make it work for the people and not the politicians, according to a statement.

"The politicians in Albany had their chance to help our families and seniors. They failed and now it's time for regular people like us to get the job done," said Whalen.

"As a small businesswoman, I know how hard it is to build a business and make our community a better place. As a former Assistant Attorney General, I've fought to protect taxpayers by prosecuting wrongdoing. As a wife and mother of two boys, I understand how difficult it is to balance work and family life. It seems like the politicians in Albany have forgotten they're supposed to be working for real people and not the special interests. That kind of attitude must change," Whalen said.

Whalen graduated from Albany Law School and Georgetown University, and worked as a prosecutor as assistant council for the New York State Racing and Wagering Board. She has also worked as assistant attorney general in the New York State department of law and helped recover funds stolen from attorneys, according to information from her campaign. In 2001 she started the Whalen Group, a residential and commercial real estate firm.

"This exploration period is the first step. In the coming months, I will be talking directly with the residents of the 109th Assembly District on how we can cap and cut taxes and wasteful spending, get our economy back on track and restore faith in government," said Whalen.

She lives Colonie with her husband, gastroenterologist Dr. Matthew Ben, and their two boys, Leland, 9, and Reade, 8.

"My children mean the world to me and it's to ensure they have the opportunities to pursue their own dreams and stay here in New York that I am so passionate about turning things around in our state," Whalen said.

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