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July 29, 2009

Dems to make pick for Congress


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PLATTSBURGH — Democrats will choose their candidate for the 23rd Congressional District at a meeting Aug. 10.

The field is now up to 11, with two from Essex County, two from Franklin County and one from Clinton County.

"We will continue to review the applications we have received," Jefferson County Democratic Party Chairman Sean Hennessey said in a statement.

"We will nominate a strong candidate who will campaign aggressively and win this special election before heading to Congress to work to create jobs in our district and get our economy back on track."

The seat in the 23rd District will open when incumbent John McHugh (R-Pierrepont Manor) is confirmed as the new secretary of the Army in the next few weeks.

A special election will likely be held either in September or November, depending on Gov. David Paterson's choice.


Republicans have chosen Dierdre "Dede" Scozzafava, a state assemblywoman from Gouverneur in St. Lawrence County as their candidate.

She was picked from a field of nine candidates last week.

Her choice has angered some Republicans who feel that she is far too liberal to be the GOP candidate.

James Kelly, a retired New York City detective who now lives in Wilmington, announced that he wants to run as the Conservative candidate, in opposition to Scozzafava's nod as the Republican candidate.


Republicans have held the seat since the Civil War era, but Democrats believe that they have a legitimate shot in this special election.

Democrat Scott Murphy won a special election in February against Republican James Tedisco in the heavily Republican 20th District near Albany.

The 23rd District is the largest east of the Mississippi River, containing 11 counties from Lake Ontario in the west to Lake Champlain in the east.

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