JAY — Two possible contenders for the 21st Congressional seat held by Bill Owens both announced they won’t run, leaving Democrats to continue searching for a candidate.
Owens (D-Plattsburgh) is leaving at the end of his term in December; he made the announcement last month.
Since then, numerous individuals have said they were considering a run for the post in the November election.
The district encompasses 12 counties across northern New York, from Lake Ontario in the west to Lake Champlain in the east.
On Tuesday, both Essex County Board of Supervisors Chair Randy Douglas (D-Jay) and Scott Murphy of Glens Falls, a former congressman, said they decided not to run for Owen’s seat. Both men are Democrats.
Douglas said he gave possible candidacy careful thought and consideration.
“The idea of it intrigued me; I felt that I could offer a lot of common sense, and I looked forward to bringing Democrats, Republicans and independents together for the greater good of our country,” he said in a statement.
“It was a tough decision for me. However, at this time I do not feel that running for this position is in the best interest of my family. I would also like to thank everyone who reached out to me and encouraged me to run.”
Douglas was recently installed as chairman of the Essex County Board of Supervisors for an unprecedented fifth term.
‘NOT RIGHT TIME’
Murphy said he and his wife, Jennifer, made the decision together.
“After serious consideration, Jen and I decided that now is not the right time for me to run. I think that the best thing I can do to serve the country is to spur economic growth and innovation through my work in the private sector.”
Murphy won a 2009 special election in a nowdefunct district that included parts of the current 21st District but lost a 2010 election against Republican Chris Gibson, a retired Army colonel from Kinderhook.