More than two weeks from the date Kirsten Gillibrand was sworn into the U.S. Senate, Gov. David Paterson has announced a likely date when her former constituents will have a chance to pick her replacement: Tuesday, March 31, when James Tedisco, R-Schenectady, will face off against Scott Murphy, D-Glens Falls.
Paterson's Wednesday, Feb. 11, announcement was not a formal proclamation. He said that will come Monday, Feb. 23. State law requires a proclamation 30 to 40 days from the date of the vote. At that point, the parties' candidates can get their names set on the ballot and independent hopefuls can start collecting signatures.
The announcement comes after much ballyhooing from Republicans about Paterson's sluggish response. Tedisco, the National Republican Congressional Committee, Young Republicans and the Republican National Committee have all made statements calling on Paterson to call the race immediately, arguing that the 20th Congressional District should have a new leader as soon as possible.
I am thankful that Gov. Paterson toady announced March 31 as the special election date for the 20th Congressional District, and finally ended 'no taxation without representation' for this district, which has gone without a voice in Congress for too long, Tedisco said in a statement.
A spokesman for Murphy's campaign said his candidate was happy to see a date set, as well.
"Or grassroots campaign is energized and is already hitting the ground running," said Murphy in a statement. "I have been overwhelmed by the positive response to my candidacy and I look forward to continuing to meet voters all across our district."