Assemblywoman RoAnn Destito has yet to announce whether she will seek re-election to her seat in the 116th AD, but perhaps the fact that she is holding a fundraiser in Utica next month is an indication of her plans.


The event, which runs from $300 (contributor) to $1,000 (blue sponsor) a head, will be held on a Friday (May 7) from noon to 2 p.m. (The assemblywoman is throwing caution to the wind on this one, since there still is no budget deal in sight, although the Legislature is not officially scheduled to be in session that day).

Destito’s Republican challenger, businessman Greg Johnson, formally announced his candidacy at the Fort Stanwix Tea Party yesterday. The local Democratic Party chairman, Bill Barry, expressed hope that Destito will “announce soon and run” and said no other Democrat has indicated an interest in running in her place.

Destito has had a difficult year, from a personal standpoint. She lost her husband, Chris, to pancreatic cancer in January.

In March, Destito rejected a call from progressive groups and organized labor that she boycott a fundraiser for a fellow Utica-area Democratic lawmaker, Rep. Mike Arcuri, to protest his “no” vote on health care reform. Destito headlined the fundraiser, which was held at the Albany offices of lobbying/consulting firm Capitol Public Strategies, as planned.

Other pols succumbed to labor/WFP pressure to abandon “no” voters, including Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who pulled the plug on plans to headline a fundraiser for Rep. Mike McMahon. Rep. Anthony Weiner did the honors instead.