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Good morning and welcome to Voices in the Crowd

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This marks the first of what we hope will be many blog posts in Voices in the Crowd, a blog about all things political from the west side of the 21st Congressional District and all of St. Lawrence, Lewis and Jefferson counties.

We’ll offer news and opinions from other newspapers, as well as tidbits we glean from candidates and local political experts. And we’ll start right off with some updates from the 21st district.

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The Glens Falls Post Star reports that announced Green Party candidate Donald Hassig, who ran on that line against Bill Owens and Matt Doheny in 2012, will face competition this year.

The paper reports that “local political activist Matt Funiciello announced over the weekend he will seek the Green Party nomination in the 21st Congressional District race.”

Mr. Funiciello owns Rockhill bakery on Route 9 in Moreau and the Rockhill Bakehouse Cafe in Glens Falls, the paper reported.

Mr. Hassig said Tuesday morning that he welcomes “more green voices” into the campaign.

Citing environmental concerns such as the state’s ban on hydrofracking, or drilling for oil and natural gas using a ground-fracturing process, Mr. Hassig said adding candidates to the debate that can promote enviornmental issues can only help his cause.

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While there have been no reported sightings of Aaron Woolf, the 21st district candidate endorsed by the 12 Democratic County Committee chairpersons, there is evidence he is even more of a Renaissance man than his boosters have indicated.

Mr. Woolf is a co-writer of a couple of anthemic songs made popular by the band Phish.

According to phish.com, the popular crowd-involved song "Wilson" was written by Tom Marshall and Aaron Woolf for their band A-Dot Tom. “Wilson, Can You Still Have Fun?” was the original name of the piece, and it was shortened and the lyrics changed a bit when it was picked up by Phish lead man Trey Anastasio.

“Golgi Apparatus” was written by Trey Anastasio, Tom Marshall, Dave Abrahams and Aaron Woolfe in eighth grade, inspired by a biology course they were in, phish.com reports.

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While there has been no word from Mr. Woolf since the announcement last week that the county committees are backing him, former state Agriculture Commissioner Darrel Aubertine told the Times this weekend that he is still considering whether to put his hat in the ring for the Democratic nomination. He is the sole prominent Democrat who has not yet decided whether there will be a party primary for the position.

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On the crowded Republican side of the aisle, Elise Stefanik continues to pile up endorsements. Late last week, Franklin County Conservative Party Chairman Robert White endorsed her candidacy.

In an announcement put out by the Stefanik campaign, Mr. White characterized her as “the strongest candidate to win the congressional seat back for Republicans in November.”

Ms. Stefanik has sought the support of the state Conservative Party, and while party leaders have not turned her down, they also have not yet taken the major step of endorsing her candidacy.

Meanwhile, former 21st district candidate Matthew Doheny remains mute on whether or not he will seek a spot in the likely Republican primary.

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