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Woolf coming-out party puts a little jolt in 21st CD race


Aaron G. Woolf’s coming out party this week has touched most news outlets across the sprawling 21st Congressional District and has brought a flurry of reaction from both Republicans and people within his own party.

Mr. Woolf is seeking the Democratic nomination for the seat now held by Rep. William L. Owens, D-Plattsburgh, but is being challenged by former St. Lawrence County Democratic Committee Chairman Stephen W. Burke, Heuvelton. If Mr. Burke can, with the help of friends and supporters, get 1,250 legitimate Democratic names on petitions, there will be a primary in the party on June 24. There is already pretty much a guarantee of primaries in the Republican Party (Elise M. Stefanik, Matthew A. Doheny, Joseph M. Gilbert and James Waller are all promising to turn in petitions) and the Green Party (St. Lawrence County’s Donald Hassig and Matt Funiciello, owner of Rockhill Bakehouse Cafe in Glens Falls).

Only the Conservative Party remains an unlikely primary source, since the state executive committee would have to give any participants permission to be involved in a primary, but could simply fill the line with an endorsement and a Wilson-Pakula authorization.

And at this juncture, the battle among candidates for both the title “conservative” with a little c, and for the Conservative Party endorsement, is at full howl. Despite Ms. Stefanik’s best attempts, Mr. Doheny has picked up the most support among county Conservative Party committees. And despite Mr. Gilbert’s strong affiliation with the tea party, and Mr. Waller’s often rambling incantations about conservative ideals, neither of them appears to be gaining much, if any, Conservative Party attention.

The American Thinker, a daily conservative online magazine, had a recent piece boosting Mr. Gilbert and bemoaning the lack of Mr. Doheny’s and Ms. Stefanik’s conservative credentials. Read that here:

A post on the All Politics Is Local blog in the Glens Falls Post Star equated the candidates’ positions on abortion with conservative credentials. In it, author Maury Thompson quotes Ms. Steafnik’s radio ad that claims she is the only conservative in the race.

However, the blog does note that the abortion question may not sway the party, quoting St. Lawrence County Conservative Party Chairman Hank Ford as saying his committee not only did not discuss that issue, the committee endorsed Mr. Doheny because of his business background.

You can read the entire blog here:

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All Politics Is Local also reported the long-shot Republican candidate James Waller, Lake Pleasant, has begun circulating nominating petitions to get on the Republican Primary ballot.

“I am circulating petitions starting tomorrow,” he said in a telephone interview with the Post Star on Wednesday. “I was up in Speculator at my home in Lake Pleasant for about a week and a half enjoying my solitude while I prepared to bring out the extrovert in going out and convincing people to sign for me,”

You can read the post here:

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Green Party candidate for the 21st CD Donald Hassig will host a conference call from 7 to 8 p.m. March 24 to dicuss hyrdrofracking for gas and oil. His position, as you might guess from his Green Party affiliation, is against it.

“Stopping fracking is critical to the protection of our Earth Mother,” Mr. Hassig says in the news release.

Anyone interested in listening in or participating should contact Mr. Hassig at

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This item is a little like coming late to the party, but...

The Daily Kos website last month published a post that suggested a slick marketing campaign by the national Republican Party and Ms. Stefanik were attempting to turn a D.C. insider (Ms. Stefanik spent several years in the Bush White House and she has ties to former vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan) into a "north country woodchuck."

You can read the post here:

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