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New York: Democrats Stay Quiet on Massa Succession

When it comes to possible Democratic candidates to succeed former Rep. Eric Massa (D), there is a lot more clarity about who isn’t interested in running than who is.

The 29th district’s eight county Democratic Party chairmen are meeting today to interview six possible candidates, but party officials have remained tight-lipped about the names on that list.

“We’ve decided we’re not going to talk about individual candidates by name,” said June O’Neill, the state party’s executive committee chairwoman.

O’Neill would say only that the potential candidates included men and women, elected officials and private citizens, and that some live outside the district but all have ties to the district. She added that the party is casting “a very broad net” and candidates are still emerging.

State Assemblyman David Koon (D) confirmed Friday that he is one of the candidates who will be interviewing. If he becomes the nominee, Koon said, he’ll be ready with pledges for $200,000 from donors.

The name of Mary Wilmot, an aide to Gov. David Paterson (D), also has been circulated.

Republicans have coalesced behind former Corning Mayor Tom Reed, who has been in the race since July.

Paterson is required to set a special election date within 30 to 40 days after declaring the seat vacant, something he has yet to do.

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