Republican Rich Funke on Wednesday formally entered the race for state Senate against Democratic incumbent Sen. Ted O’Brien.

Funke, a former television reporter, released a YouTube video giving an outline of his biography.

The race could potentially be a tight one, given Funke’s name recognition in the Rochester-area Senate district.

Funke in a Facebook post said that as a reporter he had been “on the sidelines” but was prepared to “strap on my helmet and get in the huddle.”

A day before the announcement, O’Brien on Tuesday announced he was opposed to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plan to allow prison inmates free access to higher education classes.

“In my first term in office, I’ve delivered tax relief to middle-class families and small businesses, secured investments to create jobs in our community, and fought to clean up Albany and give New Yorkers the government they deserve,” O’Brien said in a statement on Wednesday. “I’m proud of my record and am confident that the hardworking men and women of Monroe and Ontario Counties will re-elect me this fall.”

O’Brien in 2012 defeated Republican Assemblyman Sean Hanna in the general election to replace retired GOP Sen. Jim Alesi.

It looks like Hanna might be gearing up for a second attempt at the seat, which would mean a GOP primary is in the offing. He recently loaned his campaign committee $200,000 – a move widely seen as a sign he’s likely to run again this fall.

Democrats had long eyed the Alesi seat, but were unable to unseat the incumbent senator, despite a Democratic enrollment edge in his district. Alesi retired in 2012 rather than run for re-election after supporting the same-sex marriage legalization law. He also received considerable blowback in his district after taking steps to sue a couple on whose property he trespassed, falling and badly breaking his leg in the process. Alesi pulled the suit, but the damage to his reputation and popularity had already been done.

UPDATE: Carrie Andrews, minority leader of the Monroe County Legislature (where O’Brien once served) issued the following statement:

“Richard Funke is the handpicked candidate of New York’s right-wing establishment and would be another vote in the Senate against the Women’s Equality Act and protecting a woman’s right to choose. If women are to be treated as truly equal citizens under New York law, we must stand against those like Richard Funke who would enable the extremist, anti-woman policies of the Conservative Party and its allies in the Senate.”