On Feb. 10, Assemblyman Steve Hawley made an announcement that he is seriously considering a run for Congress.
"I've been getting text-messages, phone calls and messages on Facebook from people throughout the district urging me to run," Hawley said. "I believe I have the background, experience and years in business."
The five-year veteran of Albany said that calls encouraging him to run began as soon as news hit that Rep. Chris Lee (NY-26) resigned following a revelation that he apparently tried to pick up a woman on Craigslist.
It sounded like a good idea. Genesee Co. has not had real representation in Washington since Barber Conable Jr.
Then, today, Hawley announced:
“I have been truly inspired by the outpouring of support I have received from constituents, friends and colleagues regarding a potential run for the United States House of Representatives in the 26th Congressional District,” said Hawley. “Furthermore, the parallels and comparisons I have received to former Rep. Barber Conable Jr. from members of the community has been nothing short of humbling. However, after careful consideration, I have decided to forgo a run for Congress and remain in the New York State Assembly, representing my home - the 139th Assembly District. There may be another day and another time for me to seek such office, but today is not that day and now is not that time.”
It was disappointing.
I can read between the lines. Why would he want to run for a seat that may only be around for one term? Redistricting, most likely, will erase the 26th. Congressional District. He is much better staying with NY's 139th Assembly District.
Because New York’s population didn’t grow as much the past 10 years as other states’, it’s losing two House seats. Six congressional districts in the Western New York region are the only districts in all of New York that lost population since 2000. When it comes time for the state Legislature to pick winners and losers in the remapping game, conventional wisdom says House newcomers are most disposable. The last thing Hawley would want is to be "disposable".
This is an expensive exercise for those who want Lee's seat. It requires someone who can self fund their election campaign and capable of raising money fast.
The Buffalo News reported that Kathy Hochul, Erie Co. Clerk, is solidifying her support among local Democrats, while Assemblywoman Jane Corwin is doing the same with Republicans. I don't know about the GOP, but I do know that GLOW Democrats are actively seeking candidates for this election despite the report in The Buffalo News.
I can't wait for the special election. It should be interesting.