Capital Region voters going to the polls this November will find many familiar names on the ballot.
All of the Albany County Democratic party's sitting state and federal lawmakers have been backed for reelection this fall. The Albany County Democratic Committee’s candidate review panel has unanimously recommended endorsing all incumbents.
Officials say no other candidates requested interviews. And there may be no Democrat opposing four-term Republican incumbent Pete Lopez in the 102nd Assembly disrict. That doesn't rule out a candidate independently launching a challenge.
Fellow Capital Region GOP Assemblyman Jim Tedisco says he's not surprised Democrats may not field a candiate against Lopez. He also says he won't bat an eye if his party mounts a strong challenge against one-term Democrat Cecilia Tkaczyk for her Senate seat. Tkaczyk beat former Republican Assemblyman George Amedore in a razor-thin race for the new 46th district seat in 2012. "George Amedore was an outstanding public servant. Fought for his constituents. Stood up for his constituents. I wouldn't be surprised if he would want o.... he only lost by 13 votes... that's an incredibly close election. I think he'd have a great opportunity to be a great challenger o win that seat after losing it by 13 votes. Last time I talked to George he was still thinking about it. The chariman has talked to him. He's still evaluating it. He'll not only give her a run for the money, I think he'll win this time."
Amedore could not be reached for comment.
Former Albany City Councilman Dom Calsolaro thinks the Democrats should make an effort to find a candidate to go up against Pete Lopez. "You would hope they should be able to find someone. They could get somebody young and upcoming, even if you might say they're not going to win, but at least give them a chance to make a name for themself and run a campaign and build a base for the next time. Sometimes you have to do that."
Calsolaro adds he thought it was a reach last election when Democrats ran former Albany police officer James Miller, but Miller was able to mount a challenge.
The full Democratic Committee is meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Polish Community Center to officially vote the party’s endorsements.