Albany Mayor Jerry Jennings (D), who had publicly contemplated entering the race to replace retiring Rep. Mike McNulty (D), instead endorsed former Senate aide Tracey Brooks in the Democratic primary on Monday.
“I am proud to endorse Tracey Brooks to replace Mike McNulty for Congress because she has the best combination of experience working in the district, grassroots work in the community and knowledge of the issues most important to us in the City of Albany and the Capital Region,” Jennings said in a statement.
Brooks, who directed the Albany region office of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D) until earlier this year, is fighting for the Democratic nomination against Albany County Legislator Phil Steck. Former state Assemblyman Paul Tonko (D) also is contemplating entering the race.
Announcing Re-election, Kuhl Says He’s Behind
Rep. Randy Kuhl (R), the object of whispered retirement rumors in recent weeks, announced on Friday that he will seek a third term, but pronounced himself the underdog in his rematch with retired Navy officer Eric Massa (D).
Kuhl cited his sluggish fundraising as part of the reason for his political peril. Through Dec. 31, Massa — who finished 2 points behind Kuhl in 2006 despite the Republican lean of the district — banked $415,000 to Kuhl’s $327,000.
“We have not been as aggressive in that particular area of the campaign as we should have been,” Kuhl told the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. “At this point, I view I’m the underdog, if you will.”
Kuhl’s pale fundraising numbers led political observers in both the Empire State and Washington, D.C., to speculate about whether he planned to stay in Congress. Although the 29th district along the Southern Tier gave President Bush his highest percentage of the vote in New York during the 2004 White House election, Kuhl has only taken 51 percent of the vote in each of his two House races. He previously spent two dozen years in the state Legislature.
— Josh Kurtz