Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin Not Running for Congress

mclaughlinRepublican Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin said Thursday he would not put his hat in the ring for the 19th Congressional District.

“I have agonized, as you know over this decision. It’s really difficult,” McLaughlin told Fred Dicker on Talk 1300. “I’m gonna say that I’m not going to run for Congress which is going to disappoint some people, probably make some people happy.”

McLaughlin said he wants to spend more time focused on his family and his time in the Assembly. He plans to run for re-election in 2016.

“I have a great desire to do it,” McLaughlin said, “but then there’s a part of me that says, you know what? This is not the right time.”

McLaughlin said holding a seat in Congress would limit his time with his children, two of which are heading to college. Another is leaving for basic training in the Air Force.

McLaughlin said he was also concerned about voter turnout and financing during a presidential election year.

“One of the things I was looking at was – the Democratic nominee is a factor in New York politics,” McLaughlin said.

Democrats historically have a higher turnout during presidential years, which could be boosted if Hillary Clinton – a former U.S. Senator from New York – is the Democratic nominee.

McLaughlin also said he wasn’t confident that funding would come through for his campaign.

“I don’t fully trust the Washington establishment that they wouldn’t cut bait on a seat like this,” McLaughlin said, “and leave you twisting in the wind and hanging.”

Former Assemblyman and candidate for governor John Faso is seeking the seat left vacant by Congressman Chris Gibson. Andrew Heaney is also seeking the Republican line in that district.

Heaney Raises $643K For House Campaign

Republican Congressional hopeful Andrew Heaney will announce having raised $643,256 for his bid to win the 19th district in the Hudson Valley.

The amount of money raised includes more than 500 individual donors. Heaney, a businessman from Millbrook, did not make any personal contributions to the effort, his campaign said.

“With over 500 individual donors and not one penny from Political Action Committees, I’m proud of the strong and broad support our campaign is generating,” Heaney said in a statement.

The fundraising total for the first fundraising quarter of the campaign, which ended on Sept. 30, comes as multiple Republicans are vying for the nomination in the district.

Former Assembly Minority Leader John Faso entered the race last month, and has embarked on multiple fundraising tours already, including an event in Washington, D.C., with the entire New York GOP House delegation scheduled for today.

A third candidate, Robert Bishop, a Delaware County native and farmer, is also entering the race.

Meanwhile, two Republican members of the Assembly — Steve McLaughlin and Peter Lopez — are also mulling bids for the House seat.

Fundraising is key to the district, given that it crosses over multiple media markets in the Hudson Valley.

Incumbent Rep. Chris Gibson is retiring at the end of the current term as he considers a run for governor in 2018.

Faso Gets Fundraising Boost From GOP House Delegation

fasocongressNew York’s Republican House delegation is helping raise money for GOP congressional hopeful John Faso, who hopes to replace Rep. Chris Gibson in the 19th district.

The entire GOP delegation from New York — save for Gibson himself, who is not endorsing a candidate to replace him before an expected primary next June — is participating in the fundraiser for Faso, a former Assembly minority leader from Kinderhook in the Hudson Valley.

Tickets for the Oct. 6 event in Washington, D.C. range from $500 to $2,700.

Faso, a 2002 candidate for state comptroller and 2006 Republican nominee for governor, launched his first bid for elective office in nearly a decade in September, but a number of Republican candidates are seeking the seat being vacated by Gibson.

In addition to the backing from Republican House members, Faso’s fundraiser will also be attended by former Reps. Tom Reynolds and Bill Paxon.

The backing from the full delegation, though, is eyebrow raising, especially this early in the process. Faso is expected to face a primary challenge from at least one and as many as three fellow Republicans later next year.

Also attending is a member of the House Republican leadership: Tom Cole, the Oklahoma Republican and deputy majority whip, who led the GOP’s fundraising between 2006 and 2008.

Businessman Andrew Heaney filed to run for the seat earlier this summer, making a pitch to Republican leaders in the district that he is not a career politician — a reference to Faso’s resume as both a state lawmaker and attorney for an Albany-based lobbying shop. More >

Launching Campaign, Faso Looks To Replicating Gibson’s Model

fasoannounceAs he launched his first campaign in nearly a decade for public office, Republican John Faso indicated he wants to replicate the government and political success of the man he’d like to replace: Republican Rep. Chris Gibson.

“This is a classic swing district and in order to win this district, you have to go out and speak frankly to voters,” Faso said during his launch event.

Gibson, who is stepping down from Congress at the end of the current term, first won re-election in the Hudson Valley House district in 2010, unseating Democratic incumbent Scott Murphy. He won re-election twice more in a redrawn district that was more moderate in its politics.

Gibson adjusted accordingly and in recent months as even indicated a preference for policies friendly to liberals, such as supporting same-sex marriage and acknowledging that human activity causes climate change, which come as he considers a run for statewide office in 2018.

Faso, a former Assembly minority leader who launched his campaign for the NY-19 on Tuesday from his home in Kinderhook, sought to emphasize his similarities with Gibson. More >

Faso To Announce House Bid

FasofundraisserRepublican former Assembly Minority Leader John Faso will roll out his campaign for the 19th congressional district on Tuesday from his home in Kinderhook, his campaign announced today.

Faso, a 2002 candidate for comptroller and a 2006 nominee for governor, will hold the event on the front porch of his home alongside “family, friends and former constituents” his announcement said.

Faso plans a multi-event kick off for the campaign, including stops in Rhinebeck and New Paltz as well as part of a broader seven-day tour.

Faso is vying for the seat held by Rep. Chris Gibson, a Republican first elected to the House in 2010, but is stepping down after the current term. Gibson is considering a run for governor in 2018.

Faso, meanwhile, is holding a Sept. 30 fundraiser at the Fort Orange Club in Albany.

Tickets for the event range from $250 to $1,000 for the dinner and reception.

The Hudson Valley House seat has been a battleground district since the 2012 round of redistricting. Gibson last year fended off a challenge from wealthy first-time candidate Sean Eldridge, who is not running again.

Republican Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin is also considering a bid for the district. Businessman Andrew Heaney is the only other declared Republican in the race so far.

Faso’s campaign also released an introductory video for the candidate:

Faso’s Congressional Campaign Takes Shape

FasofundraisserThe congressional campaign of Republican John Faso is taking shape this month as the former Assembly minority leader plans a Sept. 30 fundraiser at the Fort Orange Club in Albany.

Tickets for the event range from $250 to $1,000 for the dinner and reception.

Faso, the 2002 Republican candidate for comptroller and 2006 nominee for governor, is vying for the congressional seat held by retiring Rep. Chris Gibson, who is weighing a run for statewide office in 2018.

An invitation obtained by Capital Tonight shows Faso has lined up prominent Republican donors in upstate New York, including businessman John Nigro, communications and publicity expert Mark Behan, developer Emil Galasso and former Court of Appeals Judge Victoria Graffeo, an appointee of then-Gov. George Pataki. A long list of those attending the event is after the jump.  More >

McLaughlin: ‘Getting Stronger’ To Enter NY-19

mclaughlinRepublican Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin on Thursday said he was increasingly leaning toward entering the race for the 19th congressional district, saying in a radio interview his inclination to run was “getting stronger by the day.”

“If I get in this race, I’m certainly in it to win it,” McLaughlin said on Fred Dicker’s Talk-1300 radio show this morning.

McLaughlin, a three-term lawmaker from Melrose in Rensselaer County, would be the third Republican to enter the contest to replace outgoing Rep. Chris Gibson in the Hudson Valley district. More >

Republican Joins Race To Replace Gibson

ny19Andrew Heaney, a Millbrook businessman and campaign donor, has filed a statement of candidacy in the 19th congressional district, according to documents filed with the Federal Elections Commission.

Heaney’s candidacy comes as former Assembly Minority Leader John Faso, the 2006 Republican nominee for governor, created an exploratory committee on July 1 as well as campaign website signaling his likely intention to run.

Incumbent Republican Chris Gibson is expected to retire at the end of the current term.

Heaney has contributed heavily to mostly Republican candidates over the last decade including Rudy Giuliani’s presidential bid , though he did contribute $2,300 to President Obama’s first campaign in 2007. More >

Gibson Feted By League Of Conservation Voters

The environmental group League of Conservation Voters on Wednesday launched a $20,000 digital ad campaign thanking GOP Rep. Chris Gibson for opposing a bill the organization said would have hindered the EPA’s clean power regulations.

“At a time when all too many Members of Congress are sticking their heads in the sand, Congressman Chris Gibson is calling for action to address climate change and backing up his words with his votes,” said Gene Karpinski, President of LCV. “In particular his recent vote against H.R. 2042, a bill that attempts to gut the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, should be commended. We appreciate Congressman Gibson’s willingness to confront the climate challenge and look forward to continue working with him.”

Republican Long Island Rep. Lee Zeldin, meanwhile, voted in favor of the proposal and is being, in turn, criticized by the group.

Gibson, who represents a Hudson Valley district, is due to retire at the end of the current term in 2016 as he considers gearing up for a statewide run for office.

The campaign is being featured in digital ads posted to Facebook and sent in alerts to LCV members.

Eldridge Says He Won’t Run For Congress Again

Next year’s race for the 19th congressional district will feature two new candidates.

Sean Eldridge, the wealthy Democrat who unsuccessfully last year sought to unseat Republican Rep. Chris Gibson, told Vanity Fair in a profile he won’t run again for the battleground Hudson Valley congressional seat.

The move is a potential blow to Democrats who liked his ability to tap into a network of wealthy donors, as well as TV advertising folks. Eldridge blanketed the airwaves throughout the campaign against Gibson.

“I’m not going to run again,” he told the magazine.

Eldridge spent millions on trying to win the seat, but was criticized by his GOP opponents for appearing as a carpetbagger after buying a home in the district shortly before the election.

He is expected to remain active in politics, however.

Eldridge says he will be returning his focus to LGBT rights and campaign finance reform — issues that he has championed in the past (Eldridge was among the backers of the successful effort to legalize same-sex marriage in New York and the less successful push for public financing of campaigns in the state).

“Few things have such a clear ending as a campaign,” Eldrdige told Vanity Fair.

Eldridge’s husband, Facebook co-founder and New Republic publisher Chris Hughes, is due to host a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton.

With Eldridge bowing out, Democrats have some options among local officials, including Ulster County Executive Mike Hein. Former state Sen. Terry Gipson has also been mentioned as a potential candidate.

On the Republican side, Gibson is expected to retire at the end of his current term as he considers a run for statewide office in 2018, most likely for governor.

Republicans mentioned to replace Gibson in Congress include Assemblyman Peter Lopez, Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin and Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro.