James Tedisco will be the Republican candidate in any future special election for the recently vacated 20th Congressional District seat, GOP leaders announced this afternoon.
The pick of the Assembly Minority Leader came just hours after Kirsten Gillibrand was sworn into the U.S. Senate. Tedisco was an early and strong contender in the race for the Republican ballot line, which was instantly flooded with dozens of hopefuls. Tedisco picked up the vital Saratoga County endorsement early on. Since the GOP selection process is weighted by the number of votes cast in last year's election, that nod catapulted Tedisco ahead.
Tedisco edged out contenders like former Assemblyman and Gubenatorial candidate John Faso, Sen. Betty Little and Sandy Treadwell, who lost to Gillibrand in November.
No date for the election has been set. It's up to Governor Paterson to pick a date 30 to 40 days after a proclamation for the election, but he can make the proclamation any time he pleases.
A Democratic frontrunner has yet to emerge. The party's leadership has said they will forgo an endorsement process, with hopes of presenting a unified front.
When we first met, we talked about whether we would endorse, and we decided that the fairest thing to do was not to endorse, said Essex County Democratic Chairwoman Sue Montgomery-Corey, who is in charge of rounding up the candidates. "We've been going back and calling people, and making sure they understand procedurally what we're doing."
The deadline for Democratic applications was noon today.