As the primary nears in New York’s 21st Congressional district race, the number of candidates is tightening. Two Republicans have dropped out, leaving two-time candidate Matt Doheny challenging former White House aide Elise Stefanik, who has party backing.
In the Democratic race, Stephen Burke is challenging endorsed candidate Aaron Woolf. And there may be a primary among the Green Party candidates. Matt Funicello is facing off against St. Lawrence County farmer and environmental advocate Donald Hassig. In our continuing series, WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley talks with Hassig about his campaign.
This is not Donald Hassig’s first campaign for Congress in the sprawling 21st Congressional district. The Green candidate says he will run for Congress until he wins, despite past foibles. In the 2012 campaign, he was spurned by the state Green Party for disparaging comments he made about Mexican farm workers. Then, just days before voters went to he polls, he withdrew and endorsed Democrat Bill Owens, whose decision not to seek reelection in November has blown the race open. That’s something Hassig says he will never do again.
It was unclear this week if Hassig would actually be on the Green primary ballot. He claimed to have gathered six more signatures than required, but mailed them to the NYS Board of elections on April 10th - the deadline for receiving the petitions.