Crowded race to succeed McEneny

Party makes no endorsement after presumptive frontrunner bows out

There is no clear frontrunner for the 109th Assembly District held by longtime Assemblyman Jack McEneny after Albany County Democrats opted not to endorse a candidate at a committee meeting on Wednesday, May 23.

The meeting was held after Albany County Legislature Majority Leader and presumptive party favorite Frank Commisso dropped out of the race. There are now several potential Democratic candidates hoping to win the seat.

“I am in a four-year term and have only been here about six months,” said Commisso. “I feel the constituents I serve deserve to have me stay with them. They elected me to do the job and I want to live up to that commitment.”

The local legislator said he felt he still needed to tackle the issues like the county Rail Trail, “the burden” of potential changes to the county sales tax law and unfunded mandates.

County Democratic Committee Chairman Matt Cylne said he was surprised by the timing of Commisso’s departure. But he added it was to be expected that the majority of committee members didn’t vote to give an endorsement because people were caught off guard after Commisso decided to end his race.

“By that time it was too late to hold another review because our bylaws require a 10-day notice,” Clyne said. “The timing was problematic, so many felt it was easier to not endorse and then people could sift through (who was left) and digest it.”

There is now word Commisso’s son, Frank Commisso Jr., will enter the race. Clyne called the situation perplexing.

“He hasn’t made it known to me that he plans to run, but that’s what we hear,” Clyne said.

Commisso said in an interview he would not endorse a candidate after he dropped out of the race because he “wants to see who else comes forward.” When asked what he thought about speculation he never intended to run, Commisso said that is not true.

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