In a surprise announcement, Jennifer Whalen says she has decided to not run for Albany County Executive just a day after other news outlets quoted County GOP Chairman Don Clarey saying otherwise.
\After careful consideration, I have decided not to run for Albany County Executive, the Colonie Republican said in a statement. "While I am honored to have received a tremendous outpouring of support from members of the community, I will focus my energies instead on my family, my business and volunteer work. I have not ruled out a future run for office and remain wholeheartedly committed to the Republican and Conservative Parties, which have supported me in my efforts to promote lower taxes, less spending and smaller government."
Whalen adds that she will continue to work as a taxpayers advocate, continue to be a local business woman and remain an active presence in local charitable organizations.
In a race for Assemblyman Bob Reilly's, D-Newtonville, seat back in November, Whalen came within just 600 votes of beating him. Her decision now leaves the candidate pool for the county executive seat to just County Legislature Chairman Dan McCoy, who is running on the democratic ticket.
Just got off the phone with Jennifer Whalen, and she said he reason for not wanting to run for the Albany County Executive seat is because her sights are set on the New York State Legislature.
"Because of the great race I ran against Bob Reilly, and the excellent experience, I really want to finish what I started with the legislature," she said. "I want to run for the assembly or senate. That is really where my heart lies at this juncture."
Whalen said she had never confirmed with Clarey that she was running, only that she was considering. Responding to statements made by Clarey about her in the press, she said that she still has a lot of support in the county GOP, and that she would have been fine in running for county executive.
"We have a good working relationship, but he wasn't really involved at all in the campaign that I ran," Whalen said of her race against Reilly. "Running a campaign in two counties and three towns means I have a great temperament for running. I could go into the race running business.""