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BREAKING: Messina abandons reelection effort

Conservative Party has no plans to field another candidate

Bethlehem Supervisor Sam Messina announced today that he is abandoning his efforts to win a second term in office. It's a move that greatly changes the dynamics of the supervisor race as Councilman Kyle Kotary now becomes the only announced candidate.

In a press conference at Town Hall, Messina said it's the right time to move on.

We all have difficult decisions to make in life, some are much more difficult than this, but this truly was a difficult one, he said.

Messina, a member of the Independence Party, was endorsed by the Conservative and Working Families parties for the 2011 election. Kotary garnered the support of the Democratic, Republican and Independence parties.

Messina said the way the endorsements shook out did play a role in his decision, but said it was not the only factor. The Conservative and WFP leadership will have the opportunity to endorse another candidate, but Albany County Conservative Party Chairman Richard Stack said today that his party has no plans to field another candidate.

"We were committed to Mr. Messina. We don't feel Mr. Kotary shares our vales and principles," Stack said, adding that no other interested candidates have come forward.

He criticized the town Republican Party for not fielding its own candidate.

"I don't see any reason why I should carry their banner because of their lack of organization," he said.

A Working Families Party representative could not immediately be reached.

When asked if his decision will affect the control voters have in the political process, Messina said that's up to the voters.

"I think that's something that's not my issue," he said. "I believe voters like choices, I believe voters should have a choice."

The petitioning process to get on the primary and general election ballots started this week.

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