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Primary candidates stock war chests

Candidates for McEneny’s seat have raised quarter million

— The 109th Assembly District race to succeed longtime Assemblyman Jack McEneny remains crowded as six Democrats are officially on the ballot for September’s primary.

Albany County Board of Elections Commission Matt Clyne said none of the signatures filed by candidates have been challenged by rivals, and fundraising has begun as candidates filed their first financial disclosure reports on Monday, July 16. In total, the Democrats have collectively raised about $265,000.

Candidates are vying to represent the southwestern parts of the city of Albany and the towns of Guilderland, New Scotland and Bethlehem after district lines were redrawn for this year.

County Legislator Christopher Higgins is leading the pack in fundraising having raised about $73,000 as of the filing deadline. The campaign announced an additional $2,000 raised late in the week. Joe Bonilla, a spokesman for Higgins’ campaign, said they are seeing “broad-based support from throughout the district.”

“We’re on the right track,” he said. “People in the 109th will recognize (Higgins) is the most independent, progressive, hard working candidate they can ask for.”

His biggest support has come from Olde Saratoga Coin in Albany, who donated $2,200, and a Bayside resident who donated about $4,000. An additional fundraiser at the Bayou Café on Pearl Street in Albany was scheduled for Friday, July 20, hosted by the band Black Mountain Symphony.

Assistant Attorney General William MCarthy Jr. only slightly trails Higgins in funds with about $70,000 raised, but he has spent less so far then his opponent has. He still has about $61,000 on hand. His major supporters so far have been Worldwide Express Shipping in Albany with a $4,100 donation and Council 82, the Law Enforcement Officers Union, with the same amount.

“I think I’m doing very well for a first-time candidate,” McCarthy said. “I received six union endorsements … and got a ton of signatures. I’m very happy with where we are right now. I think people are ready for a fresh face on the political scene and that’s been demonstrated by the support we’ve seen around here.”

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